NASA scientists will follow the lunar shadow on modernized aircraft during a total solar eclipse

For most viewers on Earth, a total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will last less than 2.5 minutes. But for one team of scientists funded by NASA, the eclipse will last more than 7 minutes. They will follow the lunar shadow on two upgraded WB-57F jet aircraft (formerly the tactical bomber and scout Martin B-57 Canberra).

Amir Kaspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado and his team will use two NASA research aircraft WB-57F to pursue the lunar shadow in the US on August 21, 2017. They will receive data from two telescopes installed on the nose of the aircraft. The main objective of observations: obtaining the clearest images of the outer atmosphere of the Sun – the crown, as well as the creation of the world’s first thermal map of Mercury.

Perhaps these observations will bring us closer to understanding why the outer atmosphere of the Sun is so hot …