Australia to see Total Solar Eclipse next week

Far-north Queensland, Australia, will be the only place in the world to witness next week’s solar eclipse.

In a spectacle that will not be witnessed again in Australia until 2028, the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon for just over two minutes at exactly 30 seconds past 6:38am (AEST) next Wednesday, November 14.

Totality – the full eclipse of the sun – will only be visible from areas of far-north Queensland around Cairns and Port Douglas.

However viewers in other parts of the country will be treated to a partial solar eclipse. This includes Papua New Guinea.

Those who have witnessed a total solar eclipse describe sharpened shadows and an eerie calm that descends on those under the moon's shadow.

For some the experience becomes addictive, with many travelling from around the world to witness solar eclipses.

Around 50,000 tourists are also expected to travel to Cairns and Port Douglas for next Wednesday’s eclipse.

For those lucky enough to be there, viewing the eclipse comes with a warning.

  • Do not look at the eclipse. The burning of the eye is painless so you won’t even feel the damage when it is happening. But 48 hours when spots start to appear in your vision it’s too late. Contrary to popular belief, welding goggles are not suitable for watching the eclipse. They still allow dangerous light through their lenses

The eclipse will begin at 5.45am (AEST) with totality beginning at 6.38.30 (AEST) for two minutes and three seconds. By 7.40am (AEST) it will be all over.

For the Australians who will miss out this time, the next one is only 16 years away. It will be on the 22nd of July, 2028.


Front page picture: A solar eclipse viewed from Easter Island on 13 July 2010.

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