Total solar eclipse sweeps across Indonesia

Posted at 1:00 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 21:34:46-05

Skygazers and astronomy lovers are flocking to Indonesia ahead of a rare total solar eclipse.

The phenomenon, which occurs when the moon moves directly between the earth and sun, begins at 6:20 AM Wednesday, March 9 local time (11:20 PM GMT Tuesday, March 8).

According to NASA, the moon will black out the sun over Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra, before moving across Sulawesi and Borneo, and then over to the Maluku Islands.

Viewers will be treated to a beautiful halo effect as the earth, sun and moon align.

How to watch it

The eclipse is expected to be at its best on the island of Sulawesi, near Borneo but it will also be partially visible in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hawaii and northern Australia.

But if you're not in any of those places, you can still watch the event online. NASA is live streaming it beginning at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 (1:00 AM GMT Tuesday, March 8).

If you're lucky enough to watch it live, just remember to take the proper eye safety measures. The sun can only be viewed directly with filters specifically made for that purpose -- regular sunglasses are not enough.

If all else fails, there's always next year. The next total solar eclipse is on August 21, 2017, and can be seen from a narrow corridor across the United States.