The Total Solar Eclipse which will occur in the skies over the Indonesian Archipelago on 9th March 2016 is safe to observe as long as one follows the proper guidance. To educate and provide information as how to properly observe this spectacular phenomenon, Indonesian astronomy associations and communities will be visiting the areas where the total solar eclipse will be best observed.
One community that is so active is “Langit Selatan” or the Southern Sky. This community has set up an online media in 2007 which provides broad information on astronomy and all its spectacular phenomena.
“People are really interested in the planets. We want them to know accurate information about the universe such as the position of Mars and Earth, how Venus crosses the sun, including this total solar eclipse” said Avivah Yamani, founder of Southern Sky.
In connection with the 2016 Total Solar Eclipse, Langit Selatan has provided online information through its website.
With the support of the Ministry of Tourism, a survey will be conducted in Ternate in March or April this year to ensure the observation field of the eclipse. The city of Ternate in the province of North Maluku has been chosen as the surveyed area since the city will have the longest time in which to observe the phenomenon, giving a total time of 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
“Actually, the area where the eclipse can be observed the longest will be in East Halmahera (3 minutes 17 seconds) before the sun crosses the Pacific Ocean, where the eclipse can be seen the longest in Micronesia (4 minutes 30 seconds). However, the Tourism Ministry has chosen to focus on Ternate since the island has adequate accommodation and supporting facilities for tourists” added Avivah.
The programs to be carried out by Langit Selatan in conjunction with the total solar eclipse will include sessions to educate the people of Ternate introducing astronomy as the gate to science and social science, a session on the basics of eclipse observation, a workshop on how to make simple tools to safely observe the heavenly phenomenon, as well as direct observation during the eclipse.
Avivah also explained that aside from Langit Selatan, there are a number of communities and associations that are also actively participating in educating and promoting the total solar eclipse 2016 phenomenon, including : the Amateur Astronomy Association, ITB Association of Astronomy Students, Observatory Indonesia, LAPAN (The National Aviation and Space Authority), the Planetarium, and a number of communities in Yogyakarta and Surabaya. Promotions are spread over cities where the total solar eclipse will be best seen such as Palembang and Palu.
“On the whole, all the astronomy organisations in Indonesia are tasked to educate the general public on the total solar eclipse, that will be done through seminars on this exceptional phenomenon or conduct science festivals suh as the one done by the Planetarium” added Avivah.