Although astronomers have confirmed that only a small number of cities in Indonesia lie on the path of the 2016 total solar eclipse, however, the opportunity to observe parts of this phenomenon can be experienced in most parts of the Indonesian Archipelago. Those who cannot make it to Palu, Ternate, or other cities where are the best views of the total solar eclipse, one can still enjoy it in other areas such as in Bali and Bandung.
“The entire Indonesian Archipelago will see the umbra (the innermost and darkest part of a shadow) and penumbra (the region where some or all of the light source is obscured) of the eclipse. I’ve heard that many tourists have already planned to observe the total solar eclipse in Bali due to better transportation and accommodation facilities. In Bali, the total solar eclipse is at 80%”explained Avivah Yamani, founder of the astronomy community Langit Selatan.
When the eclipse occurs, the reflection of the moon will create two parts of the shadow called umbra and penumbra. Umbra is a dark and cone shaped part of the shadow, while the penumbra is a lighter part of the shadow that grows wider as the moon moves further away from the sun. Regions covered by the umbra area can observe the total eclipse, while those covered by the penumbra will experience a partial eclipse. Detailed information on the duration and types of eclipse that can be observed in the cities across the Indonesian archipelago is available here.
Aviva further explained that tourists who wish to enjoy the phenomenon can travel to alternative cities to observe the partial solar eclipse. However astrographs and astronomy enthusiasts will likely wish to observe and capture these special moments in the cities that experience the total solar eclipse.
To properly observe and enjoy the solar eclipse, it is best if one is accompanied by astronomers. Since aside from being properly guided, tourists will also gain accurate information on all occurrences in this spectacular phenomenon.
“It would be best if the Ministry of Tourism can provide booklets on the eclipse and identify cities where this can be observed. The information can also include interesting destinations around observation points, how best conduct the observation, weather information, and also how to create simple tools to observe the eclipse. This is truly a perfect opportunity to globally promote Indonesia's tourism” commented Avivah.
Tour packages can also be arranged by combining trips to nearby cities and destinations. According to Aviviah, after observing the solar eclipse, tourists can conduct other astronomical activities such as night sky observation.
“Japan and Australia are two countries that have successfully promoted their tourist destinations and attractions during an eclipse. They have also broadcast the event live. We are prepared to help, in order that this one of a kind spectacular phenomenon can obtain the best benefits for Indonesia” said Avivah.