Total Solar Eclipse Darkens Pacific Ocean

Posted: Mar 9 2016, 4:18am CST | by , Updated: Mar 9 2016, 8:00pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


Total Solar Eclipse Darkens Pacific Ocean
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  • Skies over the Pacific Ocean were drenched in a total solar eclipse on Tuesday!

The total solar eclipse of 2016 also darkened the sky in parts of Indonesia as the moon blocked the sun.

On Tuesday, the skies over parts of Indonesia and the Pacific Ocean went dark. As the only total solar eclipse of 2016 took place, the skies were drenched in darkness.

The moon blocked out the path of the sun as many residents observed. The eclipse took hold of a 90-mile-wide or 145 kilometres strip of land and sea.

The area under the eclipse is also being called the path of totality. The eclipse stretched across Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and other islands finally reaching the Pacific Ocean.

From the ocean the eclipse stretched until an empty patch of the Pacific northeast of Hawaii. Many locals took pictures of the stunning site and shared them over the web. 

From the pictures shared over the web we can see the eclipse took the form of a ‘diamond ring’ effect. In the ‘diamond ring effect’ the sun-moon pair resembles a piece of gigantic sky bling.

Paul Cox from the Slooh Community Observatory traveled to host a live eclipse webcast. According to Cox, they had totality there in Sulawesi on the evening of Tuesday, the 8th of March 2016.  

Cox also stated to that he can see the solar prominences. Cox declared the diamond ring effect the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. 

Live views of the eclipse were webcasted by NASA, in collaboration with the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco. Similarly the National Science Foundation, from Woleai atoll in the Pacific Ocean also took part.

The total eclipse lasted only a few minutes but began at different times at different spots along the path of totality. The total eclipse first became visible at 7:15 p.m. EST Tuesday at the western end of the path. It was actually Wednesday morning local time on March 9th at the place. 

In other parts the celestial spectacle manifested as a partial solar eclipse over a much broader area. In areas such as Hawaii and parts of Southeast Asia, Australia and Alaska, a partial eclipse was seen. The eclipse could only been seen using eclipse glasses, or other types of eye protection.

A total eclipse takes place when the moon, in its new phase, passes directly in front of the sun. From the observer's perspective a total solar eclipse can be seen.

Total eclipses are a strange phenomenon of coincidence. Since the moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun and lies 400 times closer to Earth than the sun. So since the sun and the moon cover roughly the same amount of sky, an eclipse is a strange occurrence.

A solar eclipse is rare and does not occur at every new moon. But from 2 to 5 times a year, a solar eclipse unexpectedly occurs. Not all solar eclipses are total and perfect eclipses. Some are partial eclipses as the moon is too far for total obscuration of the sun. 

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is at the closest point to the sun. The closest point about 405,550 km is known as the ‘apogee’. When the moon comes near apogee it blocks out the outer ring of the blazing solar disk.

In this way an ‘annular’ eclipse is created. The next annular eclipse is expected to take place on the 1st of September and will be visible from parts of Africa.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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