Home > astronomy, Earth science > People in Singapore see total solar eclipse

People in Singapore see total solar eclipse

Earth experienced its first total solar eclipse since March 20, 2015 on Tuesday, with Indonesia being the locale on the planet where the spectacle could be seen.

The eclipse began at 8:38 pm EST and lasted for four minutes. It was visible to people in about half of Indonesia’s provinces. A report in the New York Times said that the town of Ternate, located in the Maluku Islands, was the “prime viewing location.”

A partial solar eclipse could be observed elsewhere in the south Pacific region, including in Hawaii.

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between Earth and its star, temporarily blocking some or most of the sun’s light from reaching Earth. The event happens only about once per year because the plane of Moon’s orbit does not exactly match Earth’s orbit around the sun.

The Moon seems to block the sun because, while the sun is about 400 times larger than the Moon, it is also about 400 times farther away.

This image shows Tuesday’s eclipse in progress from South Tangerang, Indonesia:

2016_solar_eclipse_copyright_ridwan_arifiandi

Photo copyright Ridwan Arifiandi; Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 2.0

The March 2015 eclipse was visible in areas in the region of the North Atlantic Ocean, including the Faroe Islands and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.

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