Indonesia will offer the best locations to watch the spectacular solar eclipse on 9 March 2016 when its shadow sweeps across this archipelago from west to east. Space watchers, amateur and professional astronomers should note the cities where the total solar eclipse can be best observed.
According to the Indonesian Institute for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), the longest time the eclipse is visible over Indonesian cities is expected to be over the town of Luwuk in Central Sulawesi, where the total eclipse can be viewed for almost an entire 3 minutes (2 minutes and 50 seconds). Of course, people will want to watch the eclipse from the sun’s disappearance to its reappearance so that the total time to watch is around two hours, reports kompas.com.
The Eclipse Festival, however, will be held at Palu, capital of Central Sulawesi province, in the district of Ngata Baru, where festivities will take place from 7th – 11 March 2016. In Palu, the eclipse can be observed for 2 minutes and 4 seconds.
Next longest locations where it is best observed are on the island of Ternate for the duration of 2 minutes and 39 seconds and on the island of Halmahera for 2 minutes and 36 seconds. According to media information, NASA has decided to pitch camp on the small island of Ternate to be able to fully study this extraordinary phenomenon.
Other locations where the eclipse can be observed for more than 2 minutes are at Bangka, Belitung, Palangkaraya, Luwuk, Sampit, Poso, Palu, Ternate and Halmahera. All these locations are getting ready to receive an influx of tourists during the period around 9 March 2016. Other larger cities like Palembang, Bangka, Belitung and Balikpapan, are nonetheless, also prepared to receive crowds of space watchers during this time.
According to BMKG, cities where this rare phenomenon can be clearly viewed are (from west to east) in Palembang, South Sumatra, where it can be viewed for 1 minute and 52 seconds, moving east to the island of Bangka where it is visible for 2 minutes, 8 seconds, the island of Belitung (2 minutes and 10 seconds). Next Sampit (2 minutes, 8 seconds) and Palangkaraya (both in Central Kalimantan) for 2 minutes and 29 seconds, Balikpapan in East Kalimantan (1 minute and 9 seconds), Luwuk (2 minutes and 50 seconds), Poso in Central Sulawesi (2 minutes and 40 seconds), Palu (2 minutes, 4 seconds), Ternate (2 minutes 39 seconds) and Halmahera in North Moluccas (2 minutes 36 seconds).