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Jakarta - The first total solar eclipse that occurred in the 20th century occurred on May 18, 1901. At that time the eclipse path are Madagascar, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, to Papua.

Photo: Mindra Purnomo
"This eclipse is important because there is a period of observation of the sun the longest time," said James W. Gould in the book Americans in Sumatra, which was published in 1961. "The total duration of the eclipse 6.5 minutes."

The longest total solar eclipse occurred about seven minutes. On March 9, 2016, eclipse lasted only about two minutes.

Of track in 1901, the most desirable area for observing are the cities that are now entering the province of West Sumatra. Scientists eclipse at that time flocked to Padang, Sawahlunto, and Bukittinggi. There is also the expedition team chose Singkep now Riau Islands.

According to Gould, the Dutch East Indies is the most attractive as a location for eclipse observation. In addition to the most easily accessible, Sumatra is also considered to be more secure cleanliness and sanitation facilities.

Of all the locations that observation, it is the best view of the eclipse in Bukittinggi. The city was then called Fort de Kock is actually not desirable because the weather forecast said it would overcast there.

In fact, the sky bright Bukittinggi, Padang and Sawalunto unlike cloudy. The weather is favorable group of astronomers United States Navy who chose that city.(oct)

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