The total solar eclipse is set to take place on March 8 and 9, with skywatchers in Southeast Asia set to have the best seats in the house,
Those on the Pacific Islands will be able to see a partial eclipse, while the rest of us will have to make do with watching a live stream online, writes Andrew Fazekas for National Geographic.
Dramatic total eclipse to be visible from the Pacific region
The moon moves in between the Earth and the sun each month, but a total solar eclipse only occurs when the alignment of the three bodies is perfect. The next eclipse will be even more special because it will happen when the moon is closest to Earth and appears as a “supermoon.”
This closes point is known as perigree, and the eclipse will be even more spectacular as a result. During the eclipse, the moon casts a shadow known as an umbra onto the Earth. this time around the umbra will fall mainly over the Pacific.
The umbra will pass over Sumatra, Indonesia at around 6pm EST Tuesday evening, which is Wednesday in Indonesia. Next in line are Borneo and Sulawesi before the path of the total eclipse crosses the International Date Line. It will disappear near Hawaii.
Catch the eclipse online thanks to the SLOOH robotic telescope
During the eclipse the shadow of the moon will travel around 8,800 miles, but the width of the shadow will be just 97 miles. For those who are underneath its path, bright daylight will turn to twilight.
If you don’t happen to be on a remote Pacific island you can watch the live stream from SLOOH.com, the robotic telescope service. There will be multiple streams from a number of spots along the path of totality.
“The cool thing for those who are going to be in the path of totality is that they are going to be able to see the outer atmosphere of the sun called the corona,” said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist from NASA. The corona will appear as flames fanning out from behind the moon. “This is only visible from the ground during a total solar eclipse,” he said.
Check the feed from March 8 at 6pm EST to 9pm EST. Either watch it live or come back later to see the replay. The partial eclipse will be visible in China, the Koreas, Japan, Philippines, Guam, northern Australia, and certain areas in Alaska. In Honolulu, Hawaii, 63% of the sun will be eclipsed at 5.37pm.
Total solar eclipse to be visible from the U.S. in 2017
To watch the eclipse safely it is recommended that you use a solar filter on your telescope or camera, or view the event with specially made eclipse glasses. Both of these tools will filter ultraviolet and infrared radiation which can seriously damage your eyes. Obviously if you are watching online then these precautions are not necessary.
Interest in space has increased dramatically over the past 12 months thanks to a series of exciting discoveries and NASA’s mastery of social media. The total solar eclipse is set to be a dramatic event, with many viewers expecting to tune in to SLOOH.