Passengers burst into applause as the moon’s shadow crossed their path.
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  • Watching a solar eclipse can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience – especially when you’re watching it from 35,000 feet.

    The pilot of Alaska Airlines Flight #870 purposely adjusted their flight from Anchorage to Honolulu so the passengers could get a view of the eclipse – and the view they got was absolutely amazing. From their vantage point, not only could they watch the moon covering the sun and the halo of prominences and solar flares, they could actually see the huge, curved shadow of the moon sweeping across the sky.

    It’s enough to make you forgive the cameraman for exclaiming “Oh my god! Here it comes! Oh my god, here we go!” over and over, with enthusiasm that would put the Double Rainbow guy to shame.

    Alaska Airlines elaborated on their blog that the man was Hayden Planetarium astronomer Joe Rao, one of a dozen astronomers and “eclipse chasers” on board the flight. Rao had figured out that Flight 870’s course would exactly cross the “path of totality,” meaning the darkest shadow of the moon passing over Earth – but it would miss the event by 25 minutes. He called Alaska Airlines, who were generous enough to move the departure time so he and his fellow passengers could have this amazing experience.

    Now that’s customer service!