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Thursday, March 10, 2016
Total solar eclipse : crowds in Indonesia | Gerhana Matahari Total Indonesia
Total solar eclipse: crowds in Indonesia watch as moon blocks sun – as it happened
As a solar eclipse arched across the skies of Indonesia this morning, thousands donned their rectangular eclipse glasses and gazed upward, hoping for a glimpse of the rare natural phenomenon.
Crowds started to form at the observatory in central Jakarta as early as 3 a.m. with eclipse watchers arriving early to receive a free pair of glasses and secure the best spot.
Some brought picnics with them, while others climbed onto the observatory roof or perched on top of idle fire trucks to escape the hordes, and secure the best view.
As the moon started to pass between the earth and the sun the light took on an unusual twilight tone, and the first crescent became visible.
“I felt the greatness of creation when I saw it,” exclaimed Wiwi, a Jakarta resident, after witnessing it for the first time. “It’s so coooool,” said Fabio, age five. “The sun looks like the moon!”
A solar eclipse results when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow over the Earth. It is only possible during the new moon phase, when the dark side of the moon faces the Earth.
Only a partial eclipse, resulting in 88 percent coverage of the sun, was visible from Jakarta but it did not disappoint viewers.
“I was so excited the first time I saw it!” said Yahra, a high-school student, viewing the eclipse through a piece of potato chip wrapper. Since early morning officials had distributed 4,000 pair of eclipse glasses, but with so many eclipse goers there wasn’t enough to go around.
It made for some resourceful and hilarious improvisations. One man grabbed an x-ray of his broken leg, the entire square sheet, allowing a handful of people to huddle behind it and view the eclipse together.
“I came for the free glasses but there weren’t any left,” laughed Abdul Rahman, 36, “Anyway, the x-ray material was very clear, better than the glasses.”