PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Alaska Airlines is offering a charter flight over the Pacific Ocean this Aug. 21 that will allow select passengers to view the astronomical event from the sky.

The company said Monday that the flight will take off at 7:30 a.m. Pacific from Portland, Oregon and is by invitation-only for astronomers and serious eclipse chasers.

The total solar eclipse is the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to hit the continental U.S. in 99 years.

A total eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth.

The path of totality -- the area of complete darkness where the moon's shadow completely obscures the sun -- begins in the U.S. on the Oregon coast before traveling east.

Alaska is also holding a contest to give away tickets to one person and a guest.