Earlier today, millions of observers in the Pacific Island nation of Indonesia that includes Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and the outlier islands were witness to a total solar eclipse, the only one that will occur this year. For 4 minutes, the sun was covered by the New Supermoon (the moon at its perigee or closest approach to earth during its monthly orbit around the earth). During a “Supermoon, since it is at its closest approach (perigee), the moon appears 12 – 14% larger than normal. Since the moon was closest to the earth during its “New” phase, the only phase during which a total eclipse of the sun can occur, it (the moon) was invisible.
Paradoxically, due to the point of greatest eclipse located west of the Pacific Ocean location of the International Date Line, the eclipse ends the calendar day before it begins. The path of totality, the narrow band within which the total aspect of the eclipse can be observed, is 155 km wide with a length of almost 14,200 km. As eclipses go, the 4 min, 9 sec duration at the point of greatest eclipse is moderately long. Airborne observations extend the duration of totality quite a bit as they fly with the moon’s shadow, racing along the surface of the earth.
Milai from Cebu Island, The Philippines shares her image of maximum Partial eclipse and her experience observing the eclipse on her blog. Anyone else who has observed the eclipse and would like to share your observations, experience or images, please feel free to submit them.
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