Today’s Total Solar Eclipse

Image of the totally eclipsed sun by Arief R. Sandan from Manggar Beach, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan/Borneo, Indonesia. This image shows the inner corona, the Chomosphere as a bright pink arc along the northwest limb of the eclipsed sun and a prominence along the western limb. The Chromosphere is the region of the heliosphere immediately above the photosphere and about 1000 K hotter. Click the image for the full resolution version.
A eclipse collage by Justin Ng produced from images he acquired from Palu, Indonesia. Totality is at the center of the collage flanked by “diamond ring” aspects of the eclipse, caused by lunar ingress and egress just before and after totality and, finally, the pre and post partial phases of the eclipse. Click the image for the full resolution version.

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.

Ephemeral data and illustration of the 9 March, 2016 Total Solar Eclipse
Path of totality for the 9 March 2016 Total Solar Eclipse with the point of Greatest Eclipse located north of New Guinea and the central Philippines treated to a 70% Partial Eclipse

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.

NASA Heliophysicist, C. Alex Young describes specific research his team is conducting with their observations of the solar corona, the outer, hot, tenuous atmosphere of the sun.


The 9 March, 2016 solar eclipse as observed from Cebu Island, The Philippines. Image credit, Milai, Thoughts, Tales and Whatnot. Camera: Sony RX 100 II

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.

Post Featured Image

Total Solar Eclipse of 11 July, 1991 as imaged by the author in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Imagination is more important than knowledge 585px-Albert_Einstein_signature_1934(invert)
An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.


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