The 2016 Eclipse:
Paths and Details

All diagrams and maps © Fred Espenak, Xavier Jubier

World Path

2016 Eclipse

The Total Solar Eclipse of 9 March 2016.

The narrow blue region is the Path of Totality (also known as the Umbra).

The Moon's umbra (shadow) travels from west to east (left to right and bottom to top on the map). At the point of Greatest Eclipse, totality is at local midday. The duration of totality at greatest eclipse is 4 minutes 09 seconds. This occurs in the Pacific Ocean. On either side of that point, the duration of totality is less. To the West (left and lower) of the point of greatest eclipse, the eclipse is total before local noon; East (right and upper) of this point, totality is seen after local noon. The umbra is generally widest around the time of greatest eclipse as the Earth is bulging out towards the Moon in that region. This brings the Earth's surface closer to the Moon.

The area on either side of the path of totality (in pale blue) is called the Penumbra and provides a partial eclipse, the magnitude decreasing with distance from the path of totality. Beyond the partial region no eclipse is visible.

The Sub-solar Point is the location where the Sun is overhead at the time of greatest eclipse; in early March this point just South of the equator. The parts in red on either end of the umbra are the regions where the eclipse occurs during sunrise (left) or sunset (right).

The Moon's shadow (Umbra) touched down on the Earth at 00:15 (UT) in the Indian Ocean West of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. At this point the width of the shadow was 94km and the duration of totality was 1m 30s at local sunrise.

The shadow then moved Eastwards across the sea traveling at approximately 1km per second passing over the southern part of the lager islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

The shadow then crossed the sea and passed over the island of Sulawesi. The small village of Ampana experienced 2m 52s of totality and a path width of 137km. The next land fall was a group of islands called the Malacas, famous for their spices.

The umbra then moved out to the Pacific Ocean touching no major land masses. It reached the point of Greatest Eclipse at 01:57 where totality will be 4m 09s with the shadow 155km wide and the eclipse occurring at local Noon.

The shadow then continued in a North Easterly direction.

The umbra continued over the ocean with totality now visible in the local afternoon. The path width and the duration both decreased.

The umbra left the Earth at 03:38 from the Northern Pacific Ocean with a totality lasting 1m 33s and a path width of 97km.

The umbra took 3 hours 22 minutes to traverse its entire path, covering less than half a percent of the Earth's surface.

Path Across Indonesia

2016 Eclipse Indonesia

The Path of Totality (the Moon's Umbra) is the shaded area moving across Indonesia from bottom left to upper right. The red lines cutting across the path are at ten minute intervals.

The umbra crossed Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Malacas Islands.

The Moon's shadow took about 40 minutes to transverse Indonesia.

The 1983 eclipse which I saw in Java also passed over the southern section of Sulawesi giving that island two total eclipses in 33 years.

The 1988 eclipse which I saw in the Philippines also passed over Sumatra and Borneo giving those islands two total eclipses in 28 years.

Path Across Sulawesi

2016 Eclipse Sulawesi

The two outer orange lines are the Path of Totality and the middle blue line is the Centre Line. The duration of totality increases as an observer moves towards this line.

The city of Palu was quite far from the Centre Line and experienced totality lasting for 2m 05s with the duration increasing as one moved further south.

The port city of Poso being closer to the Centre Line had totality lasting for 2m 40s.

Path Across Central Sulawesi

2016 Eclipse Umbra

The Path of Totality and the elliptical shape of the Umbra over Central Sulawesi.

The Moon's Umbra was falling onto the Earth at an angle. This produced the elliptical shape. The shadow was 204km long (the Major Axis) by 130km wide (the Minor Axis).

The Path Width was 137km.

Path Near Ampana

2016 Eclipse Ampana

The small village of Ampana, our base for this eclipse, experienced 2m 52s of totality.

We crossed the Eastern side of the peninsula and observed the eclipse from the small fishing village of Tete B, marked with a yellow X.

The village was approximately 13km (perpendicular) from the Centre Line (blue) and the duration of totality was 2m 54s, just one second short from the Central Line..

The Sky During Totality

2016 Eclipse Sky

Venus was the brightest planet visible during totality and was spotted shortly before totality above the Sun,

During totality Mercury was visible.

Eclipse Details

Date 9 March 2016
Location Ampana (Tete B) - Sulawesi, Indonesia
Latitude 0° 52' 37" S
Longitude 121° 39' 44" E
Altitude approx. 1m
Distance from Centre Line about 13km
Sunrise (UT + 8) 06:00
1st Contact 07:29
2nd Contact 08:40:03
3rd Contact 08:42:57
4th Contact 10:05
Duration of Totality 2m 54s
Path Width 137km
Major Axis 204 km
Minor Axis 130 km
Direction of Shadow Approach ~ 250°
Umbral Velocity 1.35 km/s
Solar Altitude 39°
Solar Azimuth 95°
Position Angle: 2nd Contact 55°
Position Angle: 3rd Contact 260°
Gamma 0.2609
Diameter Ratio 1.039
Magnitude 1.015
Saros Details 130 (52 / 73)

The Location, Latitude, Longitude and Altitude (in metres) are for the observation site Tete B, a small fishing village 6km from Ampana, itself a village on the island of Sulawesi.

The Distance from Centre Line was estimated from Google Interactive maps provided by Fred Espenak and Xavier Jubier.

First Contact is the beginning of the eclipse when the first "bite" appears on the Sun's disk; it is the beginning of the partial phase. Second Contact is the beginning of totality. Third Contact is the end of totality. Fourth Contact is the end of the partial eclipse. The times are in local time which, for this eclipse, is UT (GMT) + 8.

The Duration of the eclipse at the observation site was 2 minutes 54 seconds.

The Path Width is the width of the path of totality. The umbra itself is quite elliptical in shape. The Major Axis is the longest axis of the umbra; the Minor Axis is the shorter axis. The umbra at the observation site was 204 km long and 130 km wide and had a path width of 137km.

The Direction of the Shadow indicates that the umbra approached the observation site from South of West.

The Umbral Velocity is the speed of the Moon's shadow (just under 1350 metres per second) at the observation site. This, and the size and shape of the umbra, determines the duration of the total eclipse.

The Sun's Altitude is measured from the horizon; the Azimuth is the direction of the Sun measured clockwise from North. The figures are for mid-eclipse. The figures mean that the Sun was just under half way up over the Eastern Horizon.

The Position Angles indicate the exact position of the Sun's disk where the Moon covers and uncovers the Sun at the beginning and end of Totality. These figures determine the position of any diamond rings or Bailey's beads at the beginning and end of totality.

Gamma determines how the Moon's shadow, if extended, would pass through the Earth.

A Gamma of zero implies that the shadow would pass through the exact centre of the Earth. A Gamma of greater than 1 misses the Earth and no total eclipse would occur. A positive Gamma passes North of the Earth's centre; a negative Gamma passes South of the Earth's centre. The value of Gamma for this eclipse is 0.2609. This means that the shadow passes about a quarter of the way between the Earth's centre and the Northern part of the Earth. This, combined with the fact that in early March, neither pole is tilted well towards the Sun, produces an eclipse mainly in the Tropical regions. The path lies mainly close to the Equator and to its North.

The Diameter Ratio determines how much bigger the Moon's apparent radius is than the Sun's. In this case, the Moon's radius is 1.039 that of the Sun's. A total eclipse can only occur if this figure is greater than 1. The Moon would then appear larger than the Sun and could cover it completely. If this figure was less than one a total eclipse could not occur because the Moon would appear smaller than the Sun.

For this eclipse the value of the Diameter Ratio means that the Moon appears just under 4% larger than the Sun.

The Magnitude determines how much larger the Moon's apparent area is than the Sun's. For this eclipse the magnitude is 1.015.

The Saros is a collection of eclipses belonging to a series. Each member of the series is followed by a similar eclipse approximately 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours later. This eclipse is a member of Saros number 130. It is the 52nd eclipse out of a total of 73 in the series.

The series began on 20 August 1096 with a small partial eclipse (7%) in the Antarctic regions. This was followed by 20 partial eclipses of increasing magnitude as the Moon's shadow moved closer to the Earth's centre with each successive eclipse.

On 5 April 1475, the Moon's shadow finally made contact with the Earth and a total eclipse of 2m 08s duration occurred. The series consists of 44 total eclipses. Their duration increased to 6m 41s (on 11 July 1619) as the Moon approached closer to the Earth. After that the duration of totality began decreasing as the Moon moved away from the Earth.

Kryss and Talaat saw the previous eclipse of this Saros (the 51st) in Venezuela on 26 February 1998.

The final total eclipse of Saros 130 (the 64th of the series) will occur on 18 July 2232 (duration 1m 14s).

The series ends with nine partial eclipses in the Arctic regions, each of decreasing magnitude. The final one being a small partial (3%) on 25 October 2394. The entire series will last for 1299 years.

At any one time dozens of Saros series are in progress. Other eclipses will belong to different series.

This was the first time I saw a total eclipse of the Sun in a country where I've seen one before. In fact, the 1983 eclipse that I saw in Java was also total in Makassar, the first city we visited in Sulawesi.

KryssTal Related Pages

The 2016 eclipse main page.

Maps of the path of the 2016 eclipse from Fred Espenak and eclipse details at the observation site.

People from the 2016 eclipse.

General photos from the 2016 eclipse.

Photos from Tete B, the village of the 2016 eclipse.

External accounts and photos of the eclipse.