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Flight gives passengers a closer look at eclipse

Courtesy Alaska Air

Scientists, journalists and contest winners were among about 100 people who enjoyed a closer look at the eclipse, thanks to a special eclipse-chasing charter flight by Alaska Airlines.

The jet flew for nearly three hours over the Pacific Ocean to intercept the eclipse, allowing passengers to watch full blockage of the sun from their seats.

Excitement on the plane built as Hayden Planetarium instructor Joe Rao counted down the final seconds before the moon blacked out the sun.

Rao helped the airline figure out the logistics of the flight. It was his 12th solar eclipse.

Twenty-six-year-old passenger Jasmine Shepherd, of Charlotte, North Carolina, won a seat on the flight through a social media contest. She says the eclipse was hard to process, but she wants to see it again.

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