Viewing the 2016 Solar Eclipse

All over the world, astronomy enthusiasts are getting ready to view the solar eclipse on March 9th, with one of Alaska Airlines' flights even delaying its departure time so that its passengers can view the total eclipse.

With the eclipse passing through Southeast Asia, sky watchers in Indonesia will get the best view. Here in the Philippines, we will only get a partial view of the eclipse, and Mindanao residents will be able to see up to 80% totality because of its proximity to Indonesia.

[Photo credit: Fred Sullivan]

Make sure to wake up early tomorrow, as the moon will start to block the sun at approximately 7:45 - 7:50 AM. This will last for around three hours, depending on your location. 

Even with the sun's light being partially obscured, eclipses must not be viewed with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope! This would focus light onto your retina, potentially damaging your eyes. Some companies produce ISO-certified glasses designed specifically for viewing solar eclipses, but if you cannot buy these, regular sunglasses will not provide enough protection.

Instead, to safely view an eclipse, you can make your own pinhole projector, make a projection using binoculars, or even use household items like a mirror or a colander!

[Photo credit: RootsBD website]

Lastly, you can also capture this moment for posterity by taking photographs, with safety tips in mind.

But if you would like to view the eclipse from the comfort of your home, institutions like NASA, Exploratorium, and Slooh Community Observatory will be offering live feeds for this rare and beautiful event.

Resident astronomer and MindMover Pecier Decierdo is currently in Indonesia to view the total solar eclipse, and will share his stories with us in a future blog post.

Stay tuned!

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