Skip to main content

A very special Delta flight sold out in hours

A solar eclipse.
Jongsun Lee/Unsplash

A special Delta Air Lines flight designed to offer passengers a unique view of April’s total solar eclipse sold out within hours of the seats going on sale.

Delta flight 1218 will take off from Austin, Texas and head toward Detroit on April 8, taking it on a route that will allow those on board to spend as much time as possible directly within the eclipse’s path of totality.

The aircraft used for the flight will be an Airbus A220-300, which was chosen in part due to its extra-large windows, Delta said in a release.

The flight will soar above the clouds to give passengers an unparalleled view of a phenomenon that sees the moon pass directly in front of the sun, causing a giant shadow to fall upon parts of Earth.

Delta notes in its small print that while the flight has been designed “to maximize time within the path of totality, this is subject to change due to factors outside of Delta’s control such as weather and air traffic control that could impact timing and aircraft.”

The U.S. carrier also notes that if you were unable to grab a seat on its special flight, some regular flights on the same day also offer prime eclipse-viewing opportunities, specifically:

DL 5699, DTW-HPN, 2:59 pm EST departure, ERJ-175
DL 924, LAX-DFW, 8:40 am PST departure, A320
DL 2869, LAX-SAT, 9:00 am PST departure, A319
DL 1001, SLC-SAT, 10:08 am MST departure, A220-300
DL 1683, SLC-AUS, 9:55 am MST departure, A320

April’s total solar eclipse will see the narrow path of totality pass over Mexico (from Sinaloa to Coahuila), the U.S. (from Texas to Maine), and Canada (from Ontario to Newfoundland). A partial eclipse will cover almost all of North America and a part of Europe.

The last total solar eclipse took place in April 2023 and was viewable from parts of Australasia, while the last one that was viewable from a good chunk of North America was in August 2017.

If you miss the one in April, the next opportunity will be in August 2026, with the event viewable from the northern reaches of North America, as well as parts of Europe and Africa.

But remember — whether you watch an eclipse from an aircraft or, more likely, the ground, be sure to protect your eyes by only looking at it through a special viewer or glasses. NASA offers some important advice on eye safety for those wishing to witness this extraordinary celestial event.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Webb captures a Penguin and an Egg for its two-year anniversary
This “penguin party” is loud! The distorted spiral galaxy at center, the Penguin, and the compact elliptical galaxy at left, the Egg, are locked in an active embrace. A new near- and mid-infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope, taken to mark its second year of science, shows that their interaction is marked by a faint upside-down U-shaped blue glow.

This “penguin party” is loud! The distorted spiral galaxy at center, called the Penguin, and the compact elliptical galaxy at left, called the Egg, are locked in an active embrace. A new near- and mid-infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope, taken to mark its second year of science, shows that their interaction is marked by a faint upside-down U-shaped blue glow. NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

Today, July 12, marks two years since the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope were unveiled. In that time, Webb has discovered the most distant galaxies known, uncovered surprises about the early universe, peered into the atmospheres of distant planets, and produced a plethora of beautiful images of space.

Read more
3D printing tested for emergency spacecraft and medical supplies in space
SpaceCAL 3D printer on VSS Unity, awaiting launch on June 8, 2024.

SpaceCAL 3D printer on VSS Unity, awaiting launch on June 8, 2024. Virgin Galactic

3D printing is already being used in the space industry to create rocket engines and many more parts, but experts want to use the technology not only on the ground but also in space. Europe recently launched the first metal 3D printer to the International Space Station, and regular 3D printers have been used on the ISS for a decade. But as 3D printers become more advanced, researchers want to see if these newer versions could be used in space too.

Read more
SpaceX sees its eight-year-long flawless Falcon 9 launch streak broken
spacex falcon 9 failure screenshot 2024 07 12 194546

SpaceX has established itself as a champion of reusable commercial rockets, with the enormous success of its Falcon 9 rocket making the company the benchmark against which other commercial launch operations are judged. The Falcon 9, which carries satellites for commercial entities and space agencies into low-Earth orbit, had a long string of flawless launches. But its most recent launch failed to deploy its payloads correctly, breaking that streak and serving as a reminder that even with well-trusted technology, space operations are still a challenge.

The launch was scheduled for yesterday, July 11, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying 20 Starlink satellites to be added to SpaceX's communications network. The booster separated from the rocket as planned and landed on SpaceX's droneship for reuse, but a problem occurred with the rocket's upper stage due to a leak of liquid oxygen.

Read more