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Clouds Obscure Total Eclipse Of The Sun For Many

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PALEMBANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – A solar eclipse enthralled Indonesia on Wednesday but clouds over some parts of archipelago spoiled the view for many of the skywatchers who had the opportunity to see it in totality.

In Palembang city on the western island of Sumatra where the total eclipse should have been visible, cloudy skies and smog obscured the view for thousands of people who gathered outside shortly after daybreak.

People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

“It was very annoying that we couldn’t see the sun properly,” said David Pratama, 18, as jeers of disappointment rose up in the crowd around him as the moon moved across the sun.

A partial eclipse of the sun was visible to millions in Australia, parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, but only people in a small band of Indonesia had the opportunity to see the moon perfectly silhouetted by the sun.

In the capital, Jakarta, hundreds of residents and school children flocked to city’s planetarium where special viewing glasses were handed out to see the partial eclipse.

“We are very excited because it’s our first time seeing something like this,” said Santi who brought along her five-year old daughter to watch as the eclipse briefly dimmed the skies.

Indonesia last saw a total eclipse in 1983 and it will be 33 years until the next one, according to the meteorological agency.

The world’s next total solar eclipse will occur in August 2017 and be visible in the United States, according to NASA.

The rare astronomical phenomenon drew thousands of tourists to Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which is hoping to double its foreign tourist arrivals to 20 million by 2019.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon casts a shadow on the earth as it passes between the earth and the sun. A partial eclipse, more frequent than total eclipses, is when the earth passes within the penumbra of the moon.

A combination photograph shows the beginning (top L) to the end (top L to bottom R) of a total solar eclipse as seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A combination photograph shows the beginning (top L) to the end (top L to bottom R) of a total solar eclipse as seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Check Out These Amazing Images From The Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island, Indonesia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Light from a solar eclipse is reflected on a person's hand from a telescope on the Ampera Bridge over the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Nova Wahyudi/Antara Foto
Light from a solar eclipse is reflected on a person’s hand from a telescope on the Ampera Bridge over the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Nova Wahyudi/Antara Foto
A partial solar eclipse is seen through clouds in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A partial solar eclipse is seen through clouds in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A partial solar eclipse is seen in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A partial solar eclipse is seen in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A partial solar eclipse is seen through clouds in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
A partial solar eclipse is seen through clouds in Bangkok, Thailand, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
A school girl watches a partial solar eclipse at the Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
A school girl watches a partial solar eclipse at the Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
An aeroplane flies past the sun as it goes into a partial solar eclipse in Singapore March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su
An aeroplane flies past the sun as it goes into a partial solar eclipse in Singapore March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A partial solar eclipse is seen over the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
A partial solar eclipse is seen over the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
People watch a solar eclipse outside the planetarium in Jakarta, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Garry Lotulung
People watch a solar eclipse outside the planetarium in Jakarta, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Garry Lotulung
A person uses a medical X-ray film to view the sun during a solar eclipse in Silaut, West Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Iggoy el Fitra/Antara Foto
A person uses a medical X-ray film to view the sun during a solar eclipse in Silaut, West Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Iggoy el Fitra/Antara Foto
People test filters for watching a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge on the Musi River the day before thousands of people are expected to gather to witness the event in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
People test filters for watching a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge on the Musi River the day before thousands of people are expected to gather to witness the event in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
A staff of the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) prepares a lens to record a solar eclipse at the beach of Ternate Island, Indonesia, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A staff of the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) prepares a lens to record a solar eclipse at the beach of Ternate Island, Indonesia, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Beawiharta
People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
People watch a solar eclipse near the Ampera Bridge along the banks of the Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatra province, Indonesia March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
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