Some parts of the world are in for a rare treat this week.
On March 8th, or March 9th local time, locations surrounding the Pacific Ocean on the Eastern half of the world will get a front row seat to a solar eclipse, an event where the Moon blocks out the Sun as it passes in between the Earth and the Sun during its own orbital cycle as the Earth orbits the Sun.
It won’t be a partial solar eclipse – oh no – this is going to be the real thing; a total solar eclipse, and it’ll only happen one time in all of 2016.
Only those on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi will get to see the total solar eclipse. Some parts of East and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia will get to see a partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately, those in North and South America, as well as Europe and Western and Northwestern Asia will not be able to.
These events don’t particularly happen that often, and it’s a complete gamble when it comes to when they’ll occur and where.
Although a solar eclipse is technically blocking out a lot of the Sun’s light, it’s still dangerous to look directly at the Sun even when the Moon is covering most of its surface area in the sky. You will still need some kind of protection to keep your eyes safe while viewing, such as specialized glasses or a pinhole camera. Basic sunglasses alone are not enough to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Even if you’re not local to these parts of the world, you can bet that modern technology will have images and videos of the event all over the internet for you to watch. NASA TV will be streaming the event starting at 8 PM Eastern time, and the event will take place from 8:38 to 8:42 PM Eastern time.
Source: CBS News