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We’re Flying a Plane to Go See the Solar Eclipse

Over the weekend, millions of Americans crowded into the narrow celestial interstate from Oregon to South Carolina known as the “path of totality,” where a total solar eclipse will appear briefly on Monday. From Washington, D.C., it would be about an eight-hour drive one way to get to the closest point along that path. We wanted to cover the total eclipse in person, but we didn’t want to drive. So we decided to fly — ourselves.

On Monday morning, White House Correspondent Zeke Miller, a pilot since 2014, is piloting TIME Force One — a Cessna 172 Skyhawk we rented for the occasion — from the Leesburg Executive Airport to the Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina. Chris Wilson, TIME’s director of data journalism, is aboard for the ride to help document the journey. We’re updating this post with photos and tweets from our trip to see the eclipse. In Greenville, the moon will begin covering the sun shortly after 1 p.m. and will reach its moment of complete obscuration for about two minutes at 2:38 p.m. And yes, we have the appropriate glasses with which to view it.

Watch Live as the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Crosses the U.S.

We’ll also be participating in the live coverage of the eclipse on TIME.com. Spaceflight historian and YouTuber Amy Shira Teitel will co-host the broadcast from New York City, TIME’s editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger will co-host it from Casper, Wyo. — and we’ll be calling in from Greenville. Watch the live broadcast and follow our journey below.


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