A rare spectacle of total solar eclipse will be witnessed by people of some part of Indonesia and the Indian and Pacific Oceans on Wednesday. People in the country are in a celebratory mood and preparing for parties, colourful tribal rituals and Muslim prayers. The full eclipse will be visible to millions of people. Eclipse chasers have travelled from around the world to witness the rare site.
Around 10,000 foreigners and 100,000 Indonesian tourists will witness the solar eclipse. Special events like live band performances to dragon boat races are organised to celebrate the occasion, reported Rappler. The solar eclipse will be visible in 12 of the country’s 34 provinces. It will stretch about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) from east to west.
Scientists around the world are eagerly waiting for the solar eclipse. A 4-member team from NASA will go to Maba, a small town in the Maluku Island.
I Gde Pitana, the government’s head of foreign tourism, said, “This is a very special year because we have this phenomenon – a tourism attraction created by God. We are very lucky.”
According to The Telegraph, since 2014 Indonesian authorities are promoting the eclipse as a tourism event. As it is a very rare phenomenon, it is a magnate chaser for scientists and eclipse chaser. Many foreign tour agencies have arranged ships for people who want to witness it in the sea. For those who are interested in photography, land tours have also been organized.
For the Muslims in the Muslim majority country, it will be an auspicious occasion and the experience will be deeply spiritual. The Islamic leaders in the country are urging the faithfuls to perform special eclipse prayer.
Ma’ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, observed that the prayer signifies the greatness of Allah, who is the creator of this wonderful phenomenon.
However, some of the indigenous tribes are frightened by the phenomenon. The Dayak tribe, well-known for its intricate tattoos and costumes will be performing a ritual to ensure that the eclipse does not last too long.
Eclipse happens twice a year when the orbits of the Moon and Earth results in the Moon casting a shadow on the Earth, which blocks the Sun. When the Moon is very close to the Earth, the Sun is completely eclipsed. Thus, only the corona or a faint ring of rays is visible.
The moment will last between 90 seconds and four minutes. The last time people witnessed a total solar eclipse was in March 2015.