9 March, 2016 – Total Solar Eclipse

The total eclipse of March 9, 2016 started over the Indian Ocean, and made landfall across Indonesia, including Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi before continuing through Teluk Tomini and Halmahera in the Moluccas and then heading out over the north Pacific Ocean, to end near the Hawaiian islands.

The path of totality for the 2016 Total Solar Eclipse
The path of totality for the 2016 Total Solar Eclipse. Map courtesy of Xavier Jubier.

The maximum width of this path of totality was 155 km, and maximum duration was 4 minutes and 9 seconds at the point of greatest eclipse in the Pacific Ocean.

The weather across the whole region was generally clear, giving most locations an excellent view of totality. Some locations, however, did get clouded out.

A wonderful opportunity to explore amazing Indonesia. Maps courtesy of Xavier Jubier.
A wonderful opportunity to explore amazing Indonesia. Maps courtesy of Xavier Jubier.

For this eclipse, I did not lead a tour, but instead travelled independently to Palu. I saw the total eclipse from Wayu Village, up in the mountains south of Palu, and had around 2 minutes and 30 seconds of precious totality time. Palu is surrounded by mountains that protect the valley from the prevailing winds, creating a microclimate that reduces the build up of cloud.

In the days before the eclipse, I delivered a presentation about the eclipse experience to a very eager audience at the University. I then spent my time at the Sulawesi Eclipse Festival, doing a pre-eclipse briefings. The day after the eclipse, I led a fantastic workshop at the eclipse festival – passing a microphone around and sharing this wonderful experience. I was also able to record some individual video interviews from some rather emotional festival goers. This was a wonderful way of doing eclipse research, and I look forward to sharing these materials in the future.

The most exciting activity was the filming of the Eclipse Chaser documentary with Metro TV for their 360 degree show, broadcast across Indonesia one week after the eclipse. It was such a privilege to be able to share my eclipse activities and research for this documentary.

As in every eclipse, the local people of the region really make the eclipse experience. I feel very honored to have been able to share this special experience with the local people of Sulawesi. My eclipse experience can be seen in this blog post.



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