Hoffman Estates astronomy teacher to skydive during total solar eclipse

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Hoffman Estates teacher to skydive during solar eclipse
Hoffman Estates High School astronomy teacher Tyler Michie plans to skydive in Texas during the total solar eclipse on April 8.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (WLS) -- A total solar eclipse is a big deal, and a north suburban teacher is preparing to get one of the most unique views of it by jumping out of an airplane.

Hoffman Estates astronomy teacher Tyler Michie plans to skydive during the eclipse.

"I can feel my heart racing right now just thinking about what that's gonna be like," Michie said.

Michie is an experienced skydiver, with nearly 600 jumps, but none of them have been like what he has planned for Monday.

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He's flying to Dallas, and during the eclipse he hopes to execute what's known as a high pull, letting the parachute out almost immediately after the jump. That will allow him to spend about 10 to 12 minutes in the air, giving him the perfect view, looking up at the eclipse and down at the ground.

The moon will create a huge shadow as it passes in front of the sun for nearly four minutes.

"To feel the temperature drop and look around me and know there's people all over witnessing that from the ground," Michie said. "Starting here in Texas and moving this way, it's gonna take a couple hours."

Michie has been planning the jump for several years, checking skydive sites along the route of the eclipse. He plans to record the entire experience to share it with his students at Hoffman Estates High School, and they share in his excitement.

"We're in a good time in our lives," senior student Ashley Camby said. "We're able to see it with the technology we have as well."

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Mishie watched the 2017 total solar eclipse from the ground.

"That was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life," he said. "So this is gonna take it one step further, and I cannot wait."

Students throughout the state will be gathering in the middle of the school day Monday afternoon to watch the eclipse.

Students in Hoffman Estates will be in the stadium equipped with their own pair of safety glasses.

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