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An upcoming solar eclipse presents a unique opportunity for NASA to conduct several scientific experiments funded by the agency. The event will be captured using specialized jets, including the WB-57 aircraft, which will fly at much higher altitudes than commercial aircraft and avoid missing the eclipse due to bad weather conditions.

Flying above most of Earth’s atmosphere enables the cameras on board to capture clear images and wavelengths, such as infrared light, that are typically filtered out before reaching the ground. The WB-57 aircraft can travel at speeds of up to 460 miles per hour, providing researchers with an extended viewing time during the eclipse.

One key advantage of using the WB-57 aircraft is their ability to travel at high speeds. This allows them to experience a longer eclipse lasting over 6 minutes and 22 seconds while the eclipse will last no more than four and a half minutes at any given location on the ground. This extended viewing time provides researchers with more data and insights during this rare astronomical event.

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