If you possibly can, you should definitely try to get in a position to see the total eclipse, since this is the most spectacular astronomical phenomenon you will ever see! This page give the low-down on what you can expect to see, and where.

Please remember that a total solar eclipse is not safe to look at with the naked eye except during the few brief seconds or minutes of total eclipse, when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon. At all other times, you must use proper solar viewing protection. For more information, see our eye safety page.

Introduction

The total eclipse worldwide begins at 00:16 UT and ends at 03:38 UT; the path of the total eclipse crosses the face of the Earth in 3 hours and 22 minutes. In Indonesia, the total eclipse reaches land in Sumatra at 00:18 UT, and departs it again in Halmahera at 00:57 UT; it passes over Woleai Atoll at 01:40 UT. The longest total eclipse visible in Indonesia will be 3 minutes 20 seconds, and at Woleai Atoll 4 minutes and 5 seconds; since the path of totality will be up to 155 km (96.3 miles) wide, this total eclipse will be visible over a large part of Indonesia.

The total eclipse will occur at the centre of a partial eclipse, which will typically last over 2 and a half hours. However, the time at which you will see the eclipse, and the type and duration of the eclipse you see, will depend entirely on where you are.

This map shows the path of the total eclipse in Indonesia; hover over a circle on the centreline to see the circumstances at that point. You can zoom (using the controls on the left) and pan (by dragging) to see more detail.

The path of the total eclipse in Indonesia. Zoom and pan the map for more detail.

To see a total eclipse, you must be within the path of totality shaded in blue on the map above; and to see a total eclipse lasting for a decent length of time, you want to be towards the centre of the path (in terms of north to south), not at the edges where the duration will be very short. However, you don't need to be at the exact centre; the duration falls off very slowly from the middle, and more quickly at the edges. Anywhere in the middle third of the path will let you see a total eclipse within about 90% of the duration on the centreline.

In terms of where to be along the path, this isn't quite as important; however east is generally better, as the point of maximum eclipse is out in the Pacific. The shortest duration seen in Indonesia is 1 minute 53 seconds on Pagai-Utara island in the west; and the longest is 3 minutes 20 seconds in Halmahera in the east.

More important than east/west location is the weather forecast. A cloudy sky will ruin your total eclipse experience, so check the weather forecasts close to the event and aim for a location which has a good chance of clear skies.

Sumatra, Bangka, Belitung

The total eclipse beings in the Indian Ocean at sunrise, 00:15:57 UT, and crosses quickly to Indonesia. It reaches land at Pagai Utara island, where on the centreline the total eclipse will last from 00:18:16–00:20:09 UT, 1 minute 53 seconds. The path of totality is 107 km (66.5 miles) wide at this point, so anywhere within 18 km (11.2 miles) or so of the centreline will see about 90% or more of this duration. The partial eclipse will start at 23:20:22 on 8 Mar UT and finish at 01:25:43 UT.

The total eclipse arrives on the mainland of Sumatra less than a minute later, and crosses the island to the east. Palembang will see the partial eclipse from 23:20:29 on 8 Mar–01:31:26 UT; the total eclipse will last from 00:20:49–00:22:40 UT, 1 minute and 51 seconds. However on the centreline to the north, the total eclipse will last 2 minutes and 5 seconds. With the path of totality being 114 km (70.8 miles) wide at this point, there is a lot of scope for seeing a long-duration total eclipse.

The eclipse track crosses southern Bangka Island, then Belitung Island, where the northern part of the island will see 2 minutes 13 seconds of total eclipse from 00:23:03–00:25:16 UT; the partial eclipse will last from 23:21:11 on 8 Mar–01:36:08 UT. Manggar is quite far south of the centreline, but will still see 1 minute 57 seconds of total eclipse.

Borneo

After this the total eclipse crosses to Borneo, passing through the southern part of the island. Palangka Raya is virtually on the centreline, and will see the partial eclipse from 23:23:29 on 8 Mar–01:46:55 UT; the total eclipse will last from 00:28:58–00:31:28 UT, for 2 minutes 30 seconds of total eclipse. The duration on the centreline is just a fraction of a second more; with the path of totality being 126 km (78.3 miles) wide, anyone within about 21 km (13 miles) of the centreline will see close to this duration.

Sampit, south of the centreline, sees 2 minutes 8 seconds of totality; and Amuntai 1 minute 50 seconds. In both towns, moving a few miles north will yield a longer total eclipse. Balikpapan is close to the north edge of the eclipse path, and will see a short eclipse; one minute 15 seconds on the south edge of town, and virtually zero at the north side of town. Moving down to the Teluk Adang area would provide a much better spectacle: on the coast just south of Teluk Adang the total eclipse will last for 2 minutes 38 seconds, and will be seen from 00:32:05–00:34:43 UT.

Sulawesi

After crossing the Makassar Strait the path of the total eclipse crosses Central Sulawesi. The cenreline of the eclipse touches the north edge of Danau Lindu; here, the partial eclipse will last from 23:27:44 on 8 Mar–02:00:38 UT, and the total eclipse will be seen from 00:37:23–00:40:13 UT, for a total eclipse lasting 2 minutes 50 seconds. The path of totality is 134 km (83.3 miles) wide at this point. Palu is within the total eclipse zone, but well to the north, and sees just 2 minutes 3 seconds of total eclipse; moving south a bit would yield a longer eclipse. Poso is closer to the centreline, and sees 2 minutes 41 seconds of total eclipse with the maximum at 00:39:42 UT.

The total eclipse path runs up Central Sulawesi on the coast of the Gulf of Tomini. Luwuk, just south of the centreline, sees the partial eclipse from 23:30:08 on 8 Mar–02:07:16 UT; the total eclipse will last from 00:41:49–00:44:39 UT, 2 minutes and 50 seconds of totality. On the centreline, the eclipse will last just 10 seconds longer. From here the path of totality moves off into the Molucca Sea.

Halmahera

The centre of the total eclipse passes between Moti and Makian islands and into Halmahera. With the path of totality being 144 km (89.5 miles) wide at this point, anyone within about 24 km (14.9 miles) of the centreline will see about 90% of the best duration; even Ternate, quite far north of the centreline, will see an eclipse lasting 2 minutes 41 seconds. Waleh will see totality for 3 minutes 11 seconds, from 00:52:33–00:55:44 UT; the partial eclipse will last from 23:36:39 on 8 Mar–02:22:27 UT. Maba Sangaji is virtually on the centreline as it leaves the island, and will see the total eclipse from 00:52:59–00:56:19 UT, for 3 minutes 20 seconds.

The path of totality passes over Jiew Island; though the centreline is a little north of the island, it will still see 3 minutes 15 seconds of total eclipse, from 00:54:42–00:57:58 UT. The last place in Indonesia to see the total eclipse is tiny Fani island, which is south of the centre but sees 2 minutes 14 seconds of total eclipse, from 00:59:57–01:02:10 UT.

Woleai

After that, the path of the eclipse passes just south of Helen Reef and heads off into open ocean. However, the best place to see the total eclipse is yet to come — tiny Woleai Atoll, which is directly under the path of the total solar eclipse. Here, at Falealop, the partial eclipse will last from 00:09:59–03:14:37 UT; the total solar eclipse will last from 01:38:05–01:42:10 UT, for a stunning 4 minutes 5 seconds of totality. Ifalik is quite far south of the centreline but sees a still impressive 3 minutes 38 seconds of totality, from 01:39:33–01:43:11 UT.

The path of the total eclipse at Woleai Atoll. Zoom and pan the map for more detail; try switching between satellite and map mode to make the atoll clearer — it's very small!

The End

Wake Island is very unfortunate, being just outside the path of totality, but will see a partial eclipse covering 99.5% of the Sun peaking at 02:51 UT. The eclipse finally ends north-east of Hawaii at 03:38 UT.