The total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Indonesia including Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi, and from locations in the Pacific Ocean. Observers in northern and eastern Australia, in South Asia, and in East Asia will be able to see a partial eclipse. The eclipse will begin at 23:19 UTC on March 8, 2016, and its maximum point will take place at 01:59 UTC on March 9, 2016. Totality will last for 4 minutes and 9 seconds.
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Total Solar Eclipse

As anyone who’s ever read Tintin will know, total solar eclipses are so freaking cool, and depending on where you are in the world next week, you’ll get to experience the dark shadow cast by the Moon passing exactly between the Sun and Earth in the early hours of March 8 to 9.

If you’re due to be sacrificed to the Incan Sun God, it might be a good idea to schedule it for then. “You notice something off about the sunlight as you reach totality,” says Sarah Jaeggli, a space scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre. “Your surroundings take on a twilight cast, even though it’s daytime and the sky is still blue.”

Unfortunately for most of us, experiencing the full effect of a total solar eclipse will not be possible, thanks to where we are in the world, but if you happen to be in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, or the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you’re in luck.

The eclipse will begin shortly after 6pm (AEST) over Indonesia and then move northeastwards for the next 3 or so hours over Borneo and then out over the Pacific Ocean.

The path the total solar eclipse will take is known as the path of totality, and it will cover an area of just 14,162 km (8,800 miles) long and 156 km (97 miles) wide at its widest point. Each place on the path of totality will experience darkness for 1.5 to 4 minutes.

“Though only people along the narrow path of totality will see the total eclipse, millions more will see some degree of a partial solar eclipse in Asia and the Pacific, including Hawaii, Guam, and parts of Alaska,” says NASA. “A partial eclipse will also be visible along the path of totality for over an hour before and after the total eclipse.”

ABC News reports that people living in northern Australia – basically anyone north of a line drawn between Perth and Rockhampton – will also get to see a partial solar eclipse on March 9.

Above is an animation of the solar eclipse’s expected path next week:

Today (March 8) the moon will pass in front of the sun, causing the first and only total solar eclipse of 2016. For skywatchers around the world, here’s how to see the eclipse and what to expect.

The eclipse will be visible across Indonesia, from the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and Halmahera. A partial eclipse will be visible over southern and eastern Asia, northern and western Australia, and Hawaii. Skywatchers in the rest of the world can watch the eclipse live in a webcast hosted by the Slooh Community Observatory.

Remember, do not look directly at the sun with the naked eye or a telescope. You can use special eclipse-viewing glasses or build a pinhole projector. [March 2016 Solar Eclipse – Mostly Out to Sea | Video]

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Slooh will broadcast views of the eclipse from Indonesia, along with “live feeds from several other locations along the eclipse path,” said the observatory’s website. NASA will broadcast a webcast of the eclipse as well, starting at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on Wednesday, March 9) on NASA TV.

The Slooh webcast, which you can also watch the total solar eclipse on Space.com courtesy of Slooh, begins at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) and goes until 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT on Wednesday). From the location in Indonesia, the eclipse will reach totality — the point at which the moon fully blocks out the sphere of the sun — starting at 7:36 p.m. EST (0037 GMT) and lasting for only about 2 minutes.

To find out when totality occurs in different parts of the world, check out our solar eclipse reference page. At the location on the Earth known as the point of greatest duration, the sun will be fully covered by the moon for just over 4 minutes, according to Geoff Gaherty of Starry Night Education. However, this spot lies over the Pacific Ocean.

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Brandon Corvis
Brandon Corvis
Bran writes mostly on science and is an avid reader and writer of popular science. He brings sciency a literetic emphasis bring it to mainstream media for all.

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