Here’s how to watch Tuesday’s total solar eclipse without leaving home

If you can’t get to Indonesia to see Tuesday’s total solar eclipse, you can watch it online thanks to NASA.

A total eclipse will darken the skies over the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi for just over four minutes beginning about 8:38 p.m. Richmond time Tuesday. NASA TV will broadcast the eclipse live from Micronesia beginning at 8 p.m.

NASA also is posting updates on the eclipse to its Twitter feed dedicated to solar news.

While NASA is broadcasting the eclipse Tuesday in the United States, it actually is occurring Wednesday in Indonesia because that nation is on the other side of the International Date Line.

In a total eclipse the moon comes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth.

Although only a small portion of the planet will see a total eclipse, a partial eclipse will be visible from Australia to Hawaii. The eclipse is the only total eclipse that will occur this year.

The next total eclipse that will be visible in the United States will occur on Aug. 21, 2017. According to timedate.com, the eclipse will be visible coast to coast, the first time that has happened since 1918.

Published March 8, 2016, Richmond Times-Dispatch