Toner Stevenson


A total solar eclipse is one of the most memorable and spectacular natural events you can ever experience. In one week’s time on Wednesday morning, 9 March 2016 parts of Indonesia and Malaysia will have the opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse, in Indonesian this is called Gerhani Matahari total. There is a high probability of cloud, nonetheless many astronomy enthusiasts, such as myself, will travel to remote parts of the planet to have a chance of experiencing this fairly unique experience. 

I will be in Indonesia for the eclipse travelling with a small group led by Avivah Yamani, who is an astrophysicist and a local Indonesian who is passionate about astronomy communication.  Most of the group is from langitselatan, an astronomy online media in Indonesia. Avivah is the project director of langitselatan and the ‘365 Days of Astronomy’.

Our group will be visiting schools in North Maluku province, an area once known as the Spice Islands, prior to the eclipse to provide information. We will distribute safe solar eclipse classes generously donated by Sydney Observatory. The Institution of Surveyors, NSW, has generously donated two 'solarscopes' for safe projection of the eclipse.

We will be viewing the eclipse near a town called Maba, which is the capital of the East Helmahera district part of an island in North Maluku Province. The eclipse will begin at 8:36am local time, with totality from 9:52am lasting for 3minutes 23seconds. The eclipse will be over at 11:23am.

Back in Australia I am a member of Sydney City Skywatchers, a city-based astronomy group which meets regularly. I am hoping the clouds will part so I get excellent photographs for my report on the eclipse on 4 April.


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    About Me

    Hi, I am a keen amateur astronomer, museophile, past Manager Sydney Observatory and current member of Sydney City Skywatchers. Recently I submitted a doctoral thesis about Australia's participation in the Astrographic Catalogue with the University of Sydney. My Twitter handle is @Cosmictoner


    Location:Sydney, NSW