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Airline Offers Up Close View of Comet This Weekend

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Lovers of the stars are undoubtedly excited for this weekend’s comet Pan-STARRS, which will glide by earth about 100 million miles away. But some people might even be able to get a closer view of it as one travel company is offering to take people on a plane to see it.

Eclipse Travel, a German company in Bonn, is planning to take 88 people to see the comet from a Boeing 737-700 flying 36,000 feet above Earth.

The comet’s tail is expected to be its longest on Saturday, March 16, when the flight is to take off. The company said the flight will offer better views of the comet than those on the ground.

They have teamed up with charter agency Air Partner and Air Berlin to organize the flight.

It will follow a zig-zag pattern so all passengers will get a chance to see the comet. Those on the plane can choose to reserve two adjoining seats or an entire row if they don’t feel like sharing their window.

While those of us who stay on the ground might have to struggle to see the comet through clouds and fog, the company said the air is thinner and more transparent at 11,000 meters and so the comet will be easy to see.

It is one of two comets said to be visible to the naked eye this year.

NASA also predicts Pan-STARRS will be as bright as the Big Dipper.

But they also warn that the comet might disintegrate as it endures the heat and gravitational pull of the Sun.

The next comet to pass by Earth is comet ISON, and is expected to make its appearance in November 2013. This one is predicted to be one of the brightest comets ever, and might out-shine the moon.

Tickets for the flight range from $470-663.

CNN