A total solar eclipse of the sun unfolded over Indonesia today, while the people gazed at the sky and celebrated the moment and few others knelt in prayer.
The rare astronomical event was witnessed along a narrow path, that stretches across 12 provinces encompassing three time zones, and about 40 million people. On the other side, a partial eclipse is visible in the other parts of the Indonesian archipelago and Asia.
The Indonesian government promoted the event for more than a year, expecting a substantial tourism boost.
Thousands of people gathered in Sigi Biromaru, a hilltop town of Central Sulawesi province, enjoyed the moment, shouting and clapping, as the sun disappeared for more than two minutes. Hundreds of others were praying at nearby mosques.
Sharing his experience, a Sigi resident, named Junaz Amir said, “The sun totally disappeared. How amazing this sunny morning suddenly changed to dark.”
Though most eclipses are partial, when the moon is close enough to the earth, the moon shadow eclipses the sun fully only a faint ring of rays known as the corona is visible.
“I’m so happy that I can see this rare phenomenon in my life,” said Nurjanah Hassan, a mother of three in Ternate in eastern Indonesia, which will be one of the last cities in the eclipse’s path.
The total eclipse, which begins with the first patch of darkness appearing on the edge of the sun, will last for about 3 hours.
Depending on the viewer's location and path, the length of time, sun getting compltely eclipsed, generally depends. The moments in which the sun is entirely obscured will last between 90 seconds and 4 minutes.
In Jakarta, the planetarium officials at downtown park, have distributed about 4,000 filtered viewing glasses, to the people who came in large numbers.
Cloudy skies in parts of Indonesia dampened the spectacle for some.
“It is now dark here, but unfortunately, we cannot see the sun. It is totally covered by clouds,” said Hery Gus in Bengkulu, a southwestern province of Sumatra.
By Phani Ch