Saturday, 19 March 2016

The 9th-March-2016 Solar Eclipse [EF 16.5]

Wow, this week's EF challenge is quite different from the previous challenges I remember. It's about the recent solar eclipse on 9th March 2016. I hope many will submit their posts; it'd be nice to read about this topic from various points of view.

Okay. So when people started talking about the eclipse, I checked wikipedia and found this figure:

You can quickly infer that the small dark blue pattern shows the places where the total eclipse will take place, while the light blue - green lines covering wider area show places which will have partial total eclipse. As you can see Sydney would not witness any eclipse at all but that didn't make my husband and me, who are space enthusiasts, feel any less excited about the solar eclipse.

I remember so far I had witnessed at least two partial solar eclipses. One was around 94-96 and the other one was around 98-99. Luckily (and surprisingly, to me :P ) all eclipsed were well archived and we could easily find them in the internet so I could point out exactly the dates of these two solar eclipses I witnessed (which I am too lazy to search again now, while writing this post :D).

Indonesia was one of the countries on the path of totality. I found out that it happened to be a national holiday in Indonesia so I think that was good. I noticed people (and the government) seemed to be excited too. In Australia, although most parts would have partial eclipse, I didn't notice any special preparation (or was it only me who didn't notice? Hahaha.. Both my husband and I were actually quite busy at that time.). 

On the day of the eclipse, we went to the office as usual, but when the partial eclipse started, we started streaming it live. Unfortunately we couldn't connect to the link provided by Kominfo and BMKG (Indonesian authorities) but my husband found a really nice live streaming link from SLOOH (which live streamed from Universitas Tadulako, Palu, Central Sulawesi --if I'm not mistaken):

(Fast forward to around 2:19:00 to see minutes before totality phase)

Among three - four live streaming links that we watched at that time, this was the most enjoyable one. They had two - three different camera points of view shown at the same time. So not only we could see the sun / eclipse, but also the sky and the crowds :D. Watching the crowd started cheering when the totality begun was as much fun as watching the total eclipse itself :D. By the way, here are the shots of my husbands's and my PC screen (we saved them as mementos :D): 


his (more extreme! two screens! He's more a geek than me :P )

We also watched TvOne's streaming from Palembang which looked marvellous during totality (though it's cloudy). The famous Ampera bridge was full of lights as if it was evening time.

When the eclipse was no longer visible in Indonesia, I thought no more countries were on the eclipse track (looking at that Wikipedia map) so I closed all the streaming windows... when another friend of mine told me there's still a link from NASA streaming from Micronesia. What?! Micronesia?! What is this? I clicked the link and started enjoying the live streaming with the bonus of shots of some Micronesia locals. Really interesting.

Anyway, if you're interested and want to know more about space and stuff, apparently now there are  many interesting channels and accounts to follow (and they seem to have them for various medias including twitter, instagram, youtube, tumblr, etc), including astronaut Scott Kelly, his twin Mark Kelly (who wrote children's books about astronauts and space "Mousetronaut"), International Space Station, and of course NASA (which my husband said to be "full of propaganda" xD). It's quite interesting and in my opinion reading this is better than spending our time reading all those hatreds and hoaxes :D.

[edited: I forgot to add this link:, Indonesian's space enthusiasts site (btw, mbak Dewi from langitselatan gave a really great explanation during the eclipse live streaming by TvOne :D . One of BEC's mentors, mbak Dhita, is also a contributor of :) ).