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Any German-speaking tourist willing to shell out about 500 bucks (359EU) has a shot at getting a seat on a two-hour flight to watch the Pan-STARRS comet, expected to be most visible to Earth on March 16. The comet is already visible with binoculars in the Southern Hemisphere and some experts predict it will be visible around the globe later this month, even to the naked eye. It will show up in the skies of the Northern Hemisphere around Thursday, according to NBC’s Cosmic Log.
For those who want to get a better view, Bonn-based Eclipse Travel has organised the flight, and plans to sell about 80 tickets.
Passengers will board a Boeing 737 run by Air Berlin and cruise above the clouds and two-thirds of the Earth’s atmosphere, where the clearer air is expected to give a much better view of the comet — the company claims — better than anywhere on Earth.
The sight should be impressive, even if the comet is not as bright as experts are currently predicting. The comet will be 100 million miles away and won’t come back for 110,000 years.
The upcoming comet-viewing tour will first feature a hearty German buffet at the gate, before passengers board the plane for the two-hour trip.
The package will also include a professional astronomer, a packet for each passenger with information on the comet, and a “surprise,” according to a translation of Eclipse’s website.
Before the flight, technicians will even wash the windows of the plane.
Eclipse, as the name suggests, specialises in astronomy- and geology-themed trips. Among the many packages it offers are trips to meteor craters in Arizona, or to see the Northern Lights in Scandinavia.
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