Total solar eclipses are awesome, and depending on where you are in the world in the upcoming week, you’ll get to see the dark shadow cast by the Moon passing precisely between the Sun and Earth in the initial hours of March 8 to 9. Sarah Jaeggli, a space researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, says “You notice something off about the sunlight as you reach totality, your surroundings take on a twilight cast, even though it’s daytime and the sky is still blue”
Unluckily for most of us, observing the full effect of a total solar eclipse will not be possible, but if you are residing in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, or the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you’re quite in luck. If observed from east of the International Date Line - for example from Hawaii - the eclipse will take place on March 8. The first people will start to see a partial eclipse at 23:19 GMT. If observed from Pacific including Indonesia, Malaysia, and large parts of South-East Asia and Australia - it will occur on 9 March. The last people will see it at 04.34 GMT.
The track the total solar eclipse will folow is called the path of totality, and it will cover an area of just 14,162 km (8,800 miles) long and 156 km (97 miles) wide at its widest point. Each region on the path of totality will observe darkness for 1.5 to 4 minutes.
For those of you on the US central who are worried about missing this one, don’t worry, you’ll have your turn next year. Next year the sky will go dark over the United States too.
The next total solar eclipse is expected to take place on 21 August 2017, and it’s going to be the first one observable from the neighboring United States since 1979, and will be observable from locations covering from the East Coast to the West Coast. The last time this occurred was during the 8 June 1918 total solar eclipse.
Here's a video of the solar eclipse's expected path next week: