NASA will treat people around the world to a celestial spectacle through a live coverage of the total solar eclipse in Southeast Asia.
Partnering with the Exploratorium Science Center of San Francisco, the space agency will host activities surrounding the March 8 total solar eclipse, when the moon will completely block the sun and reveal the sun’s breathtaking outer atmosphere known as the corona.
The “path of totality” will be seen in Indonesia — Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi — and parts of Micronesia. A partial eclipse will hit most parts of northern Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa as well.
Indonesia is estimated to experience about 3.5 minutes of totality about 1:00 Universal Time on March 9, which will be from mid to late morning. Due to the International Date Line, the solar eclipse will occur late on March 8 in the United States.
NASA will organize a Facebook Q&A on March 7, Monday, at 2 p.m. EST to be participated by solar scientists from its Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. On March 8, Tuesday, at 1 p.m., scientists from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland will join Ask Me Anything on Reddit.
Its TV coverage will start March 8 at 8 p.m., where the total eclipse will take place from 8:38 to 8:42. The NASA-Exploratorium collaboration sent a production crew by plane and boat to Woleai Island in Micronesia, with a telescope feed and narrated webcast aiming to delight observers worldwide.
Using the hashtag #eclipse2016, users on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites can join the conversation even share their images of the much-awaited phenomenon.
NASA space scientist Sarah Jaeggli said one would notice something different about the sunlight as the event reaches totality.
"Your surroundings take on a twilight cast, even though it's daytime and the sky is still blue," she describes.
A total solar eclipse in 1860 first shed light on the rare sighting and gave scientists the first documented glimpse of a coronal mass ejection — a huge burst of gas and magnetic field from the sun’s corona, released into the solar wind. A coronagraph enables one to see this event during eclipses.
A friendly reminder: never look directly at the sun without proper protective gear like solar glasses, whether there’s an eclipse or none. The radiation coming from the sun’s rays could cause harm or even permanent damage to the eyes.