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article imageWatch online: Total solar eclipse in northern Australia, Tuesday

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 12, 2012 in Science
Cairns - A total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from Earth this week in northeastern Australia. Residents in Cairns, Queensland, will see a total eclipse in which the Moon completely covers the Sun for two minutes in the eastern sky, shortly after sunrise.
According to Space.com, the eclipse will be visible only in a narrow strip of northern Australia and a swathe of open ocean. The path of totality will be about 108 miles (174 kilometers) wide, Space.com reports. It will move across about 9,000 miles (14,500 km) in a three-hour period in the South Pacific Ocean, Slooh says.
National Geographic reports the lunar shadow wil make landfall early Wednesday (Tuesday afternoon in the United States) in Australia. Experts say the eclipse will occur at sunrise on Wednesday, November 14, local time. For North Americans who wish to track the unique event through webcasts, the event will occur on Tuesday afternoon (November 13). EarthSky org explains:
"Although the eclipse starts at sunrise in the Eastern Hemisphere and ends at sunset in the Western Hemisphere, the shadow path crosses the International Date Line going from west to east. That means the local date of the eclipse changes from Wednesday, November 14 to Tuesday, November 13. Befuddling though this may be, people on the east side of the International Date Line (Chile, Cook Islands and American Samoa) will see the eclipse on November 13, whereas people on the west side (New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand) will see the eclipse on November 14."
According to National Geographic, an eclipse expert and astronomer at Williams College in Massachusetts, Jay Pasachoff, said: "The best places on land to see totality is along 62 miles [100 kilometers] of coastline on northeast Australia, overlooking the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea."
The eclipse will be visible in Garig Ganak Barlu National Park in Australia's northern territory at about 6:35 am., Wednesday, local time. Pasachoff says Cairns is the only city that will be able to see the totality. At Cairns, sky-watchers will observe a total eclipse for only two minutes.
The eclipse will then move from Cairns over the Pacific Ocean until about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of Chile's coastline at 23:48 Universal Time (UT) (see illustration below). The longest duration of the totality, 4 minutes and 2 second, will occur at 22:11 UT over the open ocean.
EarthSky.org reports a partial eclipse in which the Moon covers only a part of the Sun will be seen within a broad swathe stretching thousands of miles across much of the South Pacific Basin, including New Zealand, Antarctica and South America.
According to MSNBC, there will be two other major solar events in 2013. On May 10, an annular eclipse, or "ring of fire" eclipse, will be visible from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Gilbert Island.
Path of total eclipse  Nov. 13-14
Path of total eclipse, Nov. 13-14
NASA
An "hybrid" form of an eclipse that is a combination of annular and total solar eclipse that will be seen in Central and East Africa on November 3. Residents in Gabon, Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and Somalia will be able to observe it, MSNBC reports.
Astronomers recommend either a professionally manufactured solar filter in front of a viewing device or glasses that filter out damaging UV and infrared radiation for anyone observing the eclipse.
MSNBC offers advise to eclipse chasers who may want to go to the South Pacific to view the eclipse:
Create a checklist
Choose the right optics and mount:
Keep your setup light and portable:
Bring solar filters:
Never look directly at the sun, either with the naked eye or through telescopes or binoculars, without the proper filters.
Have extra memory cards and batteries handy:
Test your imaging setup:
Pack your things carefully
Register your equipment
Check your location:
Monitor the weather:
Automate your imaging
Protect your eclipse images and video: I
Learn about the host country and its people:
National Geographic reports Pasachoff explained that a solar eclipse offers scientists rare opportunity to study the solar corona, the hot outer layer of the sun. He said:
"We get to study the motions and dynamics of the solar corona, the variations in temperature, the effect of the solar magnetic field on the corona, and other aspects that can only be done from the ground during an eclipse—not from a spacecraft."
According to Space.com, there will be several online live views of the total eclipse which begins at 3:35 p.m. EST (2035 GMT) on Tuesday (November 13, but November 14 local time in Australia).
The online Slooh Space Camera will broadcast a live feed from near Cairns, Queensland, starting at 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT) Tuesday, Space.com reports.. Viewers may see the Slooh's broadcast at the Slooh website.
Space.com reports that Slooh president Patrick Paolucci, said in a statement: "We are ecstatic to have a world-class team on-site in Cairns bringing the power and beauty of this spectacular event live to our worldwide audience. We are ramped up and ready to go to handle millions of viewers."
According to Space.com, another webcast of the event will be streamed by Tourism Tropical North Queensland, from Cairns at: http://www.ustream.tv/cairnseclipse2012.
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