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Astronomers and pilots chased a solar eclipse across the heavens Monday. This occurred while millions of people Canada, the USA and Mexico gazed the sky to catch a glimpse of a rare celestial event - a total eclipse the sun. The sun, moon and Earth aligned to block the view the sun's disc. NASA equipped its high-altitude WB-57 planes special sensors and instrumentation to gather information the unique solar event. Pilots navigated a path the eclipse, 15,240 meters high, to get a view the corona – the sun's outer surface. NASA also fired rockets into Earth's upper atmosphere, known as the ionosphere, to try to unravel some the sun's greatest mysteries.

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon obscures the face the sun from view. This celestial phenomenon momentarily turns day to night. Totality means the sun's corona becomes a million times dimmer than the sun's disc. This makes it easier scientists to observe and study the sun. Dr Amir Caspi, a solar astrophysicist, explained that: "Total solar eclipses let us study and see the corona ways that just would not be possible any other time and any other way." Solar eclipses often have confusing effects nature. They briefly stir nocturnal creatures and make birds and insects fall silent. Motorists can also be affected and should slow as lighting and visibility conditions change.

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