What if when you wake up in the morning, go outside to embrace the Sun's warmth, but strangely it is still dark and that ball of fire behave different like it used to be?
A total solar eclipse sweep across the vast Indonesian archipelago this morning, witnessed by hordes of sky gazers and marked by parties, colorful tribal rituals and Muslim prayers.
Total eclipses occur when the moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, and the three bodies align precisely. A total eclipse itself is not uncommon, averaging once every 18 months, but not always can be seen from most places. The sun’s diameter is 400 times greater than the Moon’s, yet the moon is 400 times closer to the Earth. As seen from Earth, the Moon is just broad enough to cover the solar face, creating a breath-taking silver halo in an indigo sky. It is the ultimate experience for astronomers.
For many in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, the experience will be deeply spiritual, with Islamic leaders urging the faithful to perform special eclipse prayers. For Muslims, the prayer signifies the greatness of Allah, who created this wonderful phenomenon.
Some of Indonesia’s tribes people, up to 70 million of the country’s 250 million inhabitants are indigenous peoples, are fearful of the phenomenon.
Members of the Dayak tribe in one part of Borneo island, known for their elaborate tattoos and costumes, will be performing a ritual to ensure it does not last too long. The Balian Ba Ampar-Ampar involves traditional music, chanting mantras and giving offerings of flowers and incense to ensure the sun, the source of life, does not disappear.
For the Hindus in Bali island, this is a rare solar eclipse indeed, since 9 march is also happens to be Nyepi, the “Day of Silence”. The new moon signifying the new year in Bali. It is not often that a sun eclipse occurs on Nyepi.
Scientists are also flocking to Indonesia. A four-member team from Nasa is heading to Maba, a small town in the Maluku Islands where the total eclipse will occur for around three minutes, one of the longest times it can be seen.
As for me, as a person with no budget at all, well...
The total phase of this solar eclipse is not visible in Dompu, where I live, but it can be observed here as a partial solar eclipse. The Moon covers a large portion of the Sun, so this is still a spectacular sight.
So, here you go. The picture of solar eclipse from 08°32′11″S, 118°27′48″E, 0.8 magnitude, Dompu, Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia from an old, second hand, entry level digital camera and it's 1986 lens, sittin' with the photographer in his home yard.