Telescope-Mounted Jets Will Chase The Solar Eclipse

Aug 04, 2017 at 12:01 PM ET

See you on the dark side of the sun!

NASA is mounting telescopes on a pair of jets to track the rare, total solar eclipse, as it passes across North America on Aug. 21.

The jets will fly in formation 50,000 feet above Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee to take high-speed images of the sun’s atmosphere, helping scientists understand why it’s so hot. (Good question, right?)

The jets can travel at speeds of more than 600 mph, but they will still have a hard time keeping up with the moon’s shadow, which races across Earth’s surface at nearly 2,500 mph.

And remember, if you’re going to observe the eclipse with or without a powerful telescope-mounted high-speed jet…protect your eyes!