The total solar eclipse provides a rare opportunity for NASA to study the Sun’s atmosphere, particularly its faint corona, which is somehow heated to millions of degrees while the actual surface of the star measures in at just a few thousand. The eclipse might not instantly reveal what causes this weird temperature difference, but the footage and photos captured will give NASA a chance to better understand what is going on out there.


Even with a top speed of well over 600 mph, the WB-57F jets won’t spend hours basking in the Moon’s shadow. Depending on where you are in the United States (and thanks to the curvature of the Earth) the Moon’s shadow will be racing across the surface of our planet at speeds of over 2,400 mph. So NASA has calculated that each of its jets, which will be taking off from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will spend roughly three and a half minutes capturing images and footage before the shadow leaves them in the dust.

[NASA via DPReview]