Solar eclipse darkens north Australia
Spectators whooped and clapped with delight as the moon passed between the sun and Earth, leaving a slice of the continent's northeast in sudden darkness.
Stubborn clouds that many feared would ruin the view parted - somewhat - in north Queensland. Forecasts of a total eclipse-viewing bust and relieving spectators who had fanned out to glimpse the celestial phenomenon.
"Immediately before, I was thinking, 'Are we gonna see this?' And we just had a fantastic display - it was just beautiful," said Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland. "And right after it finished, the clouds came back again. It really adds to the drama of it."
Starting just after dawn, the eclipse cast its 95-mile shadow in Australia's Northern Territory. It crossed the northeast tip of the country and was swooping east across the South Pacific, where no islands are in its direct path. A partial eclipse was visible from east Indonesia, the eastern half of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and southern parts of Chile and Argentina. Totality - the darkness that happens at the peak of the eclipse - lasted just over two minutes in the parts of Australia where it was visible.
Critical thinking challenge: What determines the duration of the eclipse?
Define these words: celestial, phenomenon, amateur
- Posted on November 14, 2012
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