Image of the day

From the
ATWB Customer Gallery

IC410

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

NASA to Chase Eclipse with a Pair of WB-57s at 50,000 Feet

08/11/2017 04:39PM

NASA to Chase Eclipse with a Pair of WB-57s at 50,000 Feet

Total solar eclipses are unique opportunities for scientists to study the hot atmosphere above the Sun's visible surface. The faint light from the Corona is usually overpowered by intense emissions from the Sun itself. During a total eclipse, however, the Moon blocks the glare from the bright solar disk and darkens the sky, allowing the weaker coronal emissions to be observed. A team led by Southwest Research Institute will use airborne telescopes aboard NASA WB-57 research aircraft to study the solar corona and Mercury's surface during next week's total solar eclipse. The August 21 observations will provide the clearest images to date of the Sun's outer atmosphere. In addition, the scientists will attempt to take the first-ever thermal images of surface temperature variations of the planet Mercury.


Comments:

  • piekielrl [Robert Piekiel]
  • 08/15/2017 05:31PM
According to what I see on the NASA website, these jets have a top speed of about 190 knots (????? Are you kidding me? Is that a typo?)<br>Why not use a supersonic military plane and stay in the path like they did with a Concorde back in 73?
<br>Robert:<br><br>Good question. I suppose the reason is that these WB-57s are equipped to support the specialized instruments needed for these types of missions and it's what NASA has in its inventory.<br><br>The following NASA site indicates that the cruise speed of the WB-57 is about 410 knots (about 475 mph).<br><br>https://airbornescience.nasa.gov/aircraft/WB-57<br><br>But your point is well taken -- The moon's shadow will be moving along at about 1500 mph in the Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee area where the WB-57s will be flying their mission, so they clearly won't be able to keep up for an extended period of time.<br><br>Thanks,<br><br>Guy<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="italic"><i>Robert Piekiel said:</i><br><br>According to what I see on the NASA website, these jets have a top speed of about 190 knots (????? Are you kidding me? Is that a typo?)<br>Why not use a supersonic military plane and stay in the path like they did with a Concorde back in 73?</div></blockquote>