A total solar eclipse, which occurred on Wednesday morning, was experienced by people in Indonesia and the Pacific. The event, marked by the moon passing directly in front of the sun, began at 6:19 a.m. local time.
The day turned dark as the moon blocked all sunlight. While the totality of the event was experienced in Indonesia and the Central Pacific, a partial eclipse could be witnessed in parts of Australia and east Asia. The event was visible for four hours Wednesday along a 150 km stretch, through Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi. BBC reports that Maba, Maluku Islands, experienced darkness for about three minutes, while in several other areas there was darkness for about two minutes.
According to CBC News, the last total solar eclipse occurred in March last year. Norway’s Svalbard islands, close to the North Pole, were the best vantage point for viewers. The event, marked by the position of the moon between the Earth and the sun, results in the satellite casting a shadow on the planet blocking the sun. While majority of the eclipses are partial, a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is close enough to the Earth.
This time, however, the eclipse crossed the International Date Line, as a result of which the eclipse begins on March 9, Wednesday, and ends on March 8, Tuesday, according to local time zones.
Sixty-five-year-old Sunaryo missed the last solar eclipse in 1983 when it shadowed over Indonesia. He brought his grandchildren to witness the event. Speaking with CNN, he said, “We heard from the news that they were distributing glasses. We got them because we arrived at 3 a.m.” Forty-year-old Hary Mulyarakman, who did watch the eclipse in 1983 but heard stories of how several people were advised not to, witnessed the event with her kids. “I want my children to witness it. It only happens every what, 30 years?” she said. “I want them to learn about the science behind it but also to see the beauty of God’s creation.”
NASA shared pictures of the eclipse on their Twitter account.