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Total eclipse of the Sun – November 14

totally eclipsed Sun

A total eclipse of the Sun will be seen in far north Queensland on the morning of November 14, 2012.

ALL ACROSS AUSTRALIA tomorrow, November 14, stargazers will have their gaze fixed on the Sun and the Moon as we experience the first total solar eclipse visible from Australia’s shores for ten years.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon, orbiting the Earth, moves in between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the light of the Sun. If the angles are slightly off, we see a partial eclipse. If the angles are just right, those lucky enough to be located along the ‘path of totality’ will experience a total eclipse.

And that’s what’s going to happen tomorrow morning. The path of totality will begin in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory before sweeping across the Gulf of Carpentaria. Reaching far north Queensland, it will cut a narrow path across the state, reaching Cairns and Port Douglas on the coast before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.

For those in the Cairns area, the eclipse will begin with the Moon taking its first ‘bite’ out of the Sun at around 5:40am Queensland time. Totality will occur around 6:38am and will last for two minutes, before the Moon begins to slide off the face of the Sun.

Those in other parts of the country will experience a partial eclipse, beginning and ending at different times according to location. More details about when and where the eclipse can be seen are given in the links below.

It is important to remember that looking at the Sun at any time, eclipse or no eclipse, is dangerous and can lead to permanent eye damage. If you intend to watch the event, you need to take appropriate precautions – ways in which to safely experience it are given the links below too.

After Wednesday, the next total solar eclipse for Australia will be in the year 2028, when the path of totality will zoom right through the middle of the continent and go right through Sydney.

I hope you have a happy and safe eclipse viewing experience tomorrow!


Fantastic solar eclipse info from the Astronomical Association of Queensland

When, where and how to see it

Solar viewing safety advice from the Queensland government

Solar viewing safety advice from NASA

How to build a pinhole camera

How to build a different kind of pinhole camera

Partial solar eclipse information for Australia cities

How to photograph the solar eclipse

How a solar eclipse works

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