The Great Indonesian Eclipse of  2016  March 09

- Gerhana Indonesia -


Dr. Wolfgang Strickling

global map of the eclipse, calculated with eclipse2016

Google-Translation to Bahasa Indonesia: Gerhana Matahari 9 Maret 2016

Animation of the eclipse On March 09 a large area of the Pacific, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, but also large parts of South-East Asia and Australia will witness a partial solar eclipse. It will be total in Indonesia an the central pacific, starting at sunrise over Sumatra and ending at sunset  north of Hawaii.
A total solar eclipse is one of the most impressive natural spectacles to be experienced on our planet. The impressions are of such an emotional quality that you will never forget it, it is a "once in a lifetime" event. It is worth travelling to the best observation site, if possible travel into the zone of totality. In the above map there are marked the beginning, maximum and the end of the totality. In the Eastern Pacific Ocean the totality will exceed a duration of more then 4 minutes. The yellow lines indicate the 50% partial eclipsed lines.

In most parts of India and Nepal there will the Sun rise partially eclipsed. In Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Papua New guinea will witness more then 50 % partial eclipse, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand will see about 50 % partial eclipsed sun. Australia, China, Japan and Alaska will get less than 50 % partial eclipse.

Eye safety:

During the entire eclipse, except the short moment of totality, you must protect your eyes! Use certified eclipse shades or eclipse glasses. Common sunglasses are not sufficient by far! Binoculars and telescopes must be equipped with proper filters to reduce the light. Very important: Never use eclipse shades behind a telescope ocular, because they will melt in the focused heat of the lenses! If you are in the central zone, you do not need any shades during totality, when the sky becomes completely dark as night. You can observe the corona safely with your naked eyes and even with binoculars or telescopes. But do not forget to put filters and shades on before totality is over!
To remind you for putting the eclipse glasses off and on an app on your mobile phone like Eclipse 2016 or EclipseDroid is very useful.

Eclipse path in
        Indonesia, calculated with Eclipse2016 App

Map of the eclipse path over Indonesia. The bold blue line is the centreline, where the totality duration will be maximal. The violet lines indicate limits of totality, outside that area the eclipse will be only visible as a partial eclipse. Observers left of the green line will see the Sun rising already partially eclipsed.

Timetable of the Great Solar Eclipse 2016 for several locations

Begin partial phase
Begin totality
End totality
End partial phase
Pulau Pagai-Utara, Indonesia
Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia
Jakarta, Java, Indonesia 07:19:51
only partial
only partial 09:43:41
Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia 07:27:51
Pulau Ternate, Indonesia 08:36:03
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
only partial only partial 09:31:00
Singapore 07:23:01 only partial only partial 09:32:54
Manila, Philippines
only partial only partial 10:14:20
Bangkok, Thailand
only partial only partial 09:32:39
Maximum of Eclipse, Pacific Ocean (4:09 seconds duration)
Darwin, Australia
only partial only partial 11:35:00
Yap Island, Micronesia
March 09   10:02:49
only partial only partial 13:01:48
Hawaii, USA
 March 08   16:36:52
only partial only partial 18:30:06

All times above are calculated using the Android app Eclipse 2016.


Archive image 09.03.2015Unfortunately, this eclipse take place during the rainy monsoon season in most parts of the central path. You have to expect many clouds over the path of the central eclipse, especially the easy to access Indonesian islands Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan.  According to Jay Anderson the cloud coverage probability in Indonesia varies from nearly 80 % in central Sumatra to about 55 % in the Molucca Sea. So a good choice might be a location at the western coast of Sulawesi or Halmahera or one of the smaller islands Ternate, Tidore or Makian west of it in the Molucca Sea.

The image left came from the archive of the University Kochi (Japan):

A very recommended weather information page for your preparation is Jay Anderson's page for the eclipse 2016  including detailed climate and cloudiness statistics tables. For last weather prospects see Jay Anderson's Eclipse day weather desk.

A problem might be the Southeast Asian haze, caused by illegal forest fires. Especially observations in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the Malaysian peninsula may be affected by the haze. Detailed maps of current forest fires can be obtained from the Global Forest Watch, from Haze Information Portal (expand "Fire Hotspots" and activate a satellite) and from  Although the situation was very severe in December 2015 the conditions seem to be improved until February  2016.

ARL cloud
          predictionLast minute cloud predictions

Very useful for last minute cloud predictions from the GFS model are cloudiness  map predictions. The ARL (Air Resources Laboratory) provides  such maps. Select your desired coordinates, then select in "2D MAP (NCAR GRAPHICS)" the 0.5 degree GFS model. Yoou find detailed information  on configuring the ARL output on Jay Anderson's  Eclipse Weather Desk.

The image left shows such a prediction for Kalimantan and Sulawesi, generated on 2016-02-19 (remember: this is NOT an actual prediction for the eclipse day!)

Details of the Eclipse

Sarosportrrait 130Screenshot Eclipse 2016Here are details for a place on the west coast of Sulawesi on the centreline, calculated with Eclipse 2016:

Wed, 2016-09-03   8:37:40 UTC+8h:  total eclipse 101.9%, Duration 2:51s
Sunrise is 6h10m, sunset 18h17m in Western Sulawesi; DeltaT = 69.6 s

             H  m  s    PA North Clockpos.  Azimuth  Elev. 
1st Contact:  7:27:08      250°      12.7      94°    19°
2nd Contact:  8:36:16       69°       6.8      94°    36° 
3rd Contact:  8:39:04      248°      12.8      94°    36° 
4th Contact:  9:58:53       66°       6.9      96°    56°

For details on this eclipse, the circumstances, tips how and where to observe have a look at the Android App Eclipse 2016. For calculation of other eclipses you can use AstroWin for Windows or EclipseDroid for Android. The latter is also good for controlling cameras and it is supporting sophisticated observation programs.

The great eclipse 2016 is part of the Saros-Period 130, which lasts from the year 1096 and will end with its eclipse number 73 in 2394. In this period there will occur every 18 years and 18 days an eclipse. It is containing 30 partial eclipses. The other 43 ones are total, with durations between 01:14 minutes up to 6:57 in the year 1565. As usually some annular or hybrid eclipses occur in a Saros period, number 130 with exclusively total or partial ones is quite remarkable. The image right is showing a Saros-snail, indicating how the lunar shadow hits the earth at the maximum of each eclipse. Click into thee image to enlarge. It was created with my Windows-software Sarosportrait.

© 2016 Dr. Wolfgang Strickling




Last Update: 2016-02-19