Total solar eclipse forecast for the South Pacific March 8 and 9

By Shawn Price   |   March 3, 2016 at 4:44 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) -- A total solar eclipse is expected to darken a swath of the South Pacific two days next week, meteorologists said.

On March 8 and 9, a supermoon at the new phase will cause the total eclipse. The path of totality will pass almost entirely over the waters of the Pacific Ocean, but could be seen -- weather permitting -- around much of the Pacific rim. The eclipse takes place over two days because the long path of totality stretches across the international date line.

The greatest duration of the eclipse will be just over four minutes in a spot in the Pacific between Japan and Papua New Guinea.

Only those along the narrow strip from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, north of the Hawaiian Islands will get to see the total eclipse. However, Hawaii and Alaska will be able to see a partial eclipse in the late afternoon of March 8. North and western Australia, south and eastern Asia, Korea and Japan will see a partial eclipse on the morning of March 9.

Weather will play a major role in visibility. Check weather forecasts a few days before to find a location that might be good for viewing.

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