As millions prepare for today’s eclipse, four NASA flight crew members will get the best seat in the proverbial house. At the edge of space.
From ABC 13:
Cary Klemm will be in one of two NASA jets that are flying at 500 mph ahead of the eclipse’s path, starting near St. Louis and continuing eastward through Illinois and Tennessee.
Klemm is in charge of capturing nearly 15,000 high resolution photos of the sun’s corona during the total eclipse, at just the right moment.
“It’s my responsibility to calibrate the instrument, focus and set the camera up to get what we’re looking for,” Klemm explained.
Klemm’s camera is being mounted to the front of a NASA WB-57 long-winged jet.
He says the photos have to be taken at the right moment.
“Even with a tiny bit of sun showing, it’s enough to damage the cameras, which are very sensitive,” Klemm said.
Tom Parent is piloting one of the two aircraft. Together, the jets will experience the total eclipse longer than anyone else. Like Klemm’s job, Parent’s responsibilities are just as important.
“The eclipse will overtake us, so we are going to total darkness for about four minutes for each aircraft,” Parent said.
With the photos, researchers will take a look at how space weather affects the earth.
Full story HERE.