Roughly every year or so, the cold, gray moon steals the fiery sun’s usual matinee performance by blocking out nearly all the light that the massive ball of plasma throws at portions of Earth. Sort of like Kanye West jumping up on stage at the Grammys when Taylor Swift’s trying to give an acceptance speech.
This year, that event, known as a “total solar eclipse,” begins on March 8 at around 8 p.m. ET, and will focus on Australia, southern Asia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and Alaska. Different subsets of this region will see different levels of eclipse however, as the moon’s umbra—the centermost part of the shadow created when the moon blocks out the sun—eliminates more light than its penumbra—the area that encircles the umbra and is not blocked out to the same extent.
The eclipse’s “path of totality” (the path that the moon’s umbra traces along the surface of the Earth), is shown briefly in NASA’s video above, as well as in this nifty GIF:
If you don’t happen to be in certain regions of Australia, Southeast Asia, or Alaska for the eclipse, you can still watch it live via either Slooh or NASA TV, both of which are below:
Slooh’s feed, above, will go live around 6 p.m. ET and will deliver footage recorded in Indonesia. NASA’s feed will start a bit later, at around 8 p.m. ET.
And if you do happen to be within the region that will witness the solar eclipse, remember: do not look up. Looking directly at the sun, even while it’s blocked out, can result in permanent eye damage or even blindness. And even though Daredevil is cool and all, ninja training is hard and fighting bad guys doesn’t seem to pay that well.
What do you think about this year’s total solar eclipse? Do you have a favorite memory watching one of these rare events? Let us know in the comments section below!
HT: Tech Insider
Image: Neal Herbert