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Jakarta Post

Excitement builds for total eclipse on March 9

  • Ruslan Sangadji and Novani Nugrahani

    The Jakarta Post

Palu/Jakarta   /   Tue, March 1, 2016   /  05:25 pm
Excitement builds for total eclipse on March 9 Structures made of bamboo are erected in Ngatabaru village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi. Foreign tourists are set to flock to the village and camp in surrounding areas or rent rooms in locals' homes. (JP/Ruslan Sangadji)" height="424" border="0" width="638">Structures made of bamboo are erected in Ngatabaru village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi. Foreign tourists are set to flock to the village and camp in surrounding areas or rent rooms in locals' homes. (JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

Enthusiasm is high for the upcoming total solar eclipse on March 9 in South Sulawesi.
 
Around 2,000 tickets, each priced at US$279, have been sold to tourists who will enjoy the phenomenon from among the bamboo houses of Ngatabaru village in Sigi regency, around 10 kilometers away from Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province.
 
The organizer's spokesperson Zhul Usman said the enthusiasm was so high that the tickets had been sold since 2014, with buyers included scientists, eclipse hunters, astrophotographers and tourists from five continents. US news network CNN will reportedly live broadcast the event and a seasoned eclipse chaser and eclipse expert from Ireland, Dr Kate Russo, will launch a book on the impact of solar eclipses on people who experience them.
 
"BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geography have also confirmed their attendance," said Zhul, adding that the organizer aimed to sell up to 3,000 tickets overall and that a 50 percent discount was available for domestic tourists.
 
Starting from March 7, the five-day event is set to feature performances including traditional arts and entertainment.
 
Meanwhile, in Poso, a performance of the padengko, the regency's traditional musical instrument, made of bamboo, is set to enliven the total eclipse celebration called the Kawaninya Festival (Festival of Darkness) in Kalora village, Poso Pesisir Utara district, which runs from Tuesday morning on March 8 until Wednesday.
 
Poso Tourism Agency head Putra Botilangi said the sound of padengko was an ancient tradition for celebrating the harvest season, locally known as padungku.
 
"We haven’t carried out the tradition since the religious conflict from 1998 to 2001. Thus, the total eclipse is a good moment to revive it," said Putra.
 
Supported by Bandung's Bosscha Observatory, the Kalora village will also host workshops, seminars and exhibitions on astronomy as well as games for kids. Bosscha has reportedly declared the place a total eclipse observation point and will run live streaming telecasts of space observations through telescopes and other modern equipment.
 
A festival of sacred arts to celebrate the rare phenomenon will also grace Central Sulawesi, particularly at the 1,100-meters-above-sea-level Matantimali mountains in Wayu village, Sigi regency, around two hours away from Palu. Matantimali is said to be one of the best paragliding spots in the Asia Pacific.
 
Dubbed the Sigi Sacred Arts Festival, the event will feature sacred arts from all over Indonesia as well as outside the country, including Senegal's sacred Kora, Korea's Shaman dance and India's Kathak devotional dance.

According to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), up to 11 provinces in the archipelago will have the opportunity to witness the event, while Indonesians outside those regions can marvel at a partial solar eclipse. (Image by Sandy Riady)

Structures made of bamboo are erected in Ngatabaru village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi. Foreign tourists are set to flock to the village and camp in surrounding areas or rent rooms in locals' homes. (JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

Enthusiasm is high for the upcoming total solar eclipse on March 9 in South Sulawesi.
 
Around 2,000 tickets, each priced at US$279, have been sold to tourists who will enjoy the phenomenon from among the bamboo houses of Ngatabaru village in Sigi regency, around 10 kilometers away from Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province.
 
The organizer's spokesperson Zhul Usman said the enthusiasm was so high that the tickets had been sold since 2014, with buyers included scientists, eclipse hunters, astrophotographers and tourists from five continents. US news network CNN will reportedly live broadcast the event and a seasoned eclipse chaser and eclipse expert from Ireland, Dr Kate Russo, will launch a book on the impact of solar eclipses on people who experience them.
 
"BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geography have also confirmed their attendance," said Zhul, adding that the organizer aimed to sell up to 3,000 tickets overall and that a 50 percent discount was available for domestic tourists.
 
Starting from March 7, the five-day event is set to feature performances including traditional arts and entertainment.
 
Meanwhile, in Poso, a performance of the padengko, the regency's traditional musical instrument, made of bamboo, is set to enliven the total eclipse celebration called the Kawaninya Festival (Festival of Darkness) in Kalora village, Poso Pesisir Utara district, which runs from Tuesday morning on March 8 until Wednesday.
 
Poso Tourism Agency head Putra Botilangi said the sound of padengko was an ancient tradition for celebrating the harvest season, locally known as padungku.
 
"We haven'€™t carried out the tradition since the religious conflict from 1998 to 2001. Thus, the total eclipse is a good moment to revive it," said Putra.
 
Supported by Bandung's Bosscha Observatory, the Kalora village will also host workshops, seminars and exhibitions on astronomy as well as games for kids. Bosscha has reportedly declared the place a total eclipse observation point and will run live streaming telecasts of space observations through telescopes and other modern equipment.
 
A festival of sacred arts to celebrate the rare phenomenon will also grace Central Sulawesi, particularly at the 1,100-meters-above-sea-level Matantimali mountains in Wayu village, Sigi regency, around two hours away from Palu. Matantimali is said to be one of the best paragliding spots in the Asia Pacific.
 
Dubbed the Sigi Sacred Arts Festival, the event will feature sacred arts from all over Indonesia as well as outside the country, including Senegal's sacred Kora, Korea's Shaman dance and India's Kathak devotional dance.

According to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), up to 11 provinces in the archipelago will have the opportunity to witness the event, while Indonesians outside those regions can marvel at a partial solar eclipse. (Image by Sandy Riady)According to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), up to 11 provinces in the archipelago will have the opportunity to witness the event, while Indonesians outside those regions can marvel at a partial solar eclipse. (Image by Sandy Riady)

The total solar eclipse on March 9 is set to cross some parts of Indonesia and the western Pacific. The phenomenon will reportedly be visible for up to three minutes in Indonesia and for over four minutes from others sites in the western Pacific.
 
The archipelago previously experienced a total solar eclipse in 1988, which was visible in Bangka Belitung and South Sumatra. This year, the event will be visible first from North and South Pagai in Mentawai Islands, then Tanjung Pandan in Bangka Belitung, followed by Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan and finally in Maba, North Maluku.
 
According to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), up to 11 provinces in the archipelago will have the opportunity to witness the scene, while Indonesians outside those regions can still marvel at a partial solar eclipse. The path of the elclipse'€™s totality is predicted to run east from Sumatra and end in the Pacific Ocean.
 
Unlike partial solar eclipses, a total eclipse can usually only be seen from a particular spot on Earth and only once every few decades. The phenomenon occurs when the moon travels between the sun and the earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, over the earth.

Since independence, Indonesia has experienced 18 partial solar eclipses and nine total solar eclipses. It has also experienced six annular solar eclipses.
 
A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks only part of the sun'€™s disk, while an annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is a new moon or too far away, and is subsequently too small to completely cover the sun. (kes)(+)

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