14 November 2012
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
The bright lights of northern Australia quickly switched off as the moon blocked out the sun in a total solar eclipse Wednesday morning.
This marked the first total eclipse seen in Australia in a decade! More than 50,000 spectators on land and sea flooded beaches, boats and hot-air balloons to witness this phenomenal event.
The total eclipse began at 6:35 a.m Wednesday morning, but because of the time zone difference it was Tuesday afternoon in the United States. The shadows of the moon swept over the Arnhem Land region in Australia's Northern Territory and made its way southeast. It then reached over the Gulf of Carpentaria and into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The eclipse in Australia lasted an entirety of three hours, but total darkness only took over for about two minutes.
There are four types of solar eclipses: total, annular, hybrid and partial. A total eclipse is when the moon completely covers the brightness of the sun, allowing the fainter corona to be visible.
Although Northern Australia was the only place to see a total solar eclipse, countries like eastern Australia, Indonesia and Chile came across a partial eclipse. Just as it sounds, this is when the moon partially covers the bright light of the sun.
The next total eclipse will not be seen until 2015 and the next eclipse visible from the United States won’t be until 2017. But don’t worry, as there are lots of things to see in the sky.Beginning Nov. 15 you can see the famous Leonid meteor shower, where you can count 10-15 meteors per hour.