Partial Eclipse visible in Papua New Guinea

Tomorrow morning the moon will pass between the sun and earth, creating an eclipse.

If you have never seen an eclipse of the sun before, you are missing out on a spectacle it is so good. Astro-Space News Editor David Reneke says an eclipse is “one of the greatest things a human can see.”

Far-north Queensland, Australia, will be the only place in the world to witness the Total Solar Eclipse.

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

People in that area will see 96 per cent coverage of the sun, which will look like a crescent of light on top of the moon.

However, Astronomer’s say the quality of the view depends on the weather conditions.

Astronomers say eclipse glasses should be used when trying to view it; however, 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 journey will take two hours before the sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon for two minutes and five seconds at exactly 30 seconds past 6:38am (AEST).

The eclipse starts at sunrise in the Northern Territory east of Darwin and passes across Australia's top Eastern Cape before heading out over the South Pacific towards the north of New Zealand.

For those positioned outside a roughly 150-kilometre (95-mile)-wide central path but who are still partly in the moon's shadow, the eclipse is partial — it will look as though a bite has been taken out of the sun.

A partial eclipse will be visible in Papua New Guinea, the extreme eastern part of Indonesia, eastern Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, part of Antarctica and the southern part of Chile and Argentina.


Front-page picture: Partial eclipse of the sun in Britain, 5 January, 2011. By

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