A total solar eclipse occurs today: what you need to know

A total solar eclipse occurs today: what you need to know


A total eclipse is bound to occur in Asia-Pacific on Tuesday, March 8th. It is the first and the only total solar eclipse of 2016. It will visible to varying degrees from in southern and eastern Asia, northern and western Australia, and Hawaii, with totality only across Indonesia, from the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and Halmahera.

Skywatchers from all around the world can, however, still watch the eclipse in real time, thanks to Slooh Community Observatory, who will host a live webcast of the eclipse from Indonesia, along with “live feeds from several other locations along the eclipse path”, according to their website. The webcast begins at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) and goes until 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT on Wednesday).

If you happen to miss Slooh’s feed, you can alternatively tune into NASA TV’s public feed, which provides somewhat less chatty webcast. NASA TV broadcasts through a LiveStream account. Their coverage should start around 8 p.m. ET, and you can expect to see totality on their feed starting at 8:38 p.m. ET.

Space.com reports the times of maximum eclipse at major cities (Universal Time): Darwin — 00:47, Fairbanks — 03:08, Guangzhou — 00:58, Ho Chi Minh — 00:34,Hong Kong — 00:58, Honolulu — 03:37, Jakarta — 00:22, Kuala Lumpur — 00:24, Madras — 00:51, Manila — 00:58, Phnom Pénh — 00:34, Singapore — 00:24, Tokyo — 02:09.


If you get the chance to watch the eclipse with the naked eye, it’s essential to keep in mind not to look directly at the sun. The eclipse itself can be viewed safely this way for a few seconds only, and only if you are in a location where the sun will be completely covered by the moon. Disregarding this rule can have serious consequences like permanent eye damage or blindness. Sunglasses won’t help you either.

What is, however, an available filter for safe solar viewing is the “number 14 welder’s glass”, which you can purchase from your local welding supply outlet. Alternatively, you can build your own pinhole camera.