Celestial spectacle : Total solar eclipse to take place on March 8-9
Depending on where you are in the world next week, some people are set to experience the dark shadow cast by the Moon that would be passing exactly between the Sun and Earth in the early hours of March 8 to 9. In other words, the sky will be in total darkness as a total solar eclipse is expected on the aforementioned dates.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, known as its umbra, on Earth. The darkest part of a total solar eclipse is almost as dark as night. Most of the world usually only encounters a partial solar eclipse, depending on when and where the eclipse takes place.
For example, a total solar eclipse will actually take place on March 9, 2016. However, the entire eclipse will only be visible in the middle of the ocean. Other regions, such as India, will be able to view a partial solar eclipse on that date.
A total solar eclipse will take place on March 8-9, 2016. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth’s surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide. It will have a magnitude of 1.0450 visible across an area of Pacific Ocean, beginning in Indonesia, and ending in the northern Pacific Ocean.
When a new moon happens while the moon is appreciably close to one of its nodes, a solar eclipse is not only possible – but inevitable. The moon reaches its descending node only about 5 hours after the moon turns new. The close coincidence of new moon with its descending node means the moon’s dark umbral shadow will cross the Earth’s surface for about 3 and one-third hours, the long umbra track covering about 14,200 kilometers (8,820 miles) on the Earth’s surface, though with a width of only 156 kilometers (97 miles) at its widest point.
If you are not in the solar eclipse visibility belt, you check out this live broadcast from Micronesia, or head over to Solar Dynamics Laboratory website to marvel at this celestial spectacle.