Gerhana Mata Hari  by Mike Frost


  

 Total Eclipse over Halmahera, Indonesia - Image by Phillipe Lopez

 

Gerhana Mata Hari - a talk by Mike Frost

 

What has Mata Hari got to do with astronomy? The exotic dancer, courtesan and spy, shot by firing squad in October 1917, lived in Java in the Dutch East Indies before finding fame on the Parisian stage, and pretended to be a Javanese princess, though in reality she was born Margarete Zolle in the Netherlands. For her stage name, she took the Malay name for the Sun, literally "eye of the day". Present day Indonesian uses the same phrase, and so on March 9th 2016 we had a Gerhane Matahari, a total eclipse of the Sun, which crossed the Indonesian archipelago.  

 

I saw the eclipse from Tidore, one of the "spice islands" in the Moluccas. This talk tells the story of our trip to the beautiful, friendly and fascinating islands of Sulawesi, Ternate and Tidore.

 

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