Three US aircraft tried to conduct what one pilot called “the ultimate intercept” this year during the solar eclipse and ended up spending three minutes in the moon’s shadow.
US actor Will Smith provided some timely narration. “These guys are going to try something they’ve never done before: Something that shows how hard it is to go from one planet to another. Everything in the galaxy is moving. During an eclipse, when the moon slides across the sun, its shadow speeds over the earth at 1,700 miles per hour. But it’s easy to forget that we’re moving too. Our planet spins at 1,000 miles per hour. To stay in the moon’s shadow, the planes have to fly faster than the Earth spins.”
The aircraft flew at speeds near mach 2.5 during the flight.
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