Solar eclipse could be best viewed from northern Australia today

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 - 11:06am IST Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2012 - 11:11am IST | Place: Washington | Agency: ANI

People in northern Australia will be the lucky few to see the total solar eclipse on Tuesday.
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People in northern Australia will be the lucky few to see the total solar eclipse on Tuesday.

During a total solar eclipse the Moon moves in front of the Sun as seen from Earth, their separation and alignment such that the Moon appears large enough to temporarily block out the Sun’s light.

An eerie light is cast over ground observers as the imposing black disc of the Moon briefly replaces the Sun’s bright face.

Totality – when the Sun is completely obscured – occurs today at 22:11:48 GMT over the South Pacific for four minutes and two seconds

Observers along the east coast of Queensland, Australia, can enjoy the totality for about two minutes as the Sun rises 14 degrees above the horizon.

During tomorrow’s event, ESA’s Sun-watching Proba-2 satellite will pass through the Moon’s shadow several times, catching three partial solar eclipses as it orbits around Earth.

At the time of the total eclipse seen from Australia, however, Proba-2 will see the full solar disc, providing an ideal opportunity to compare the solar corona from the ground with observations of the Sun from space

The satellite’s SWAP instrument will monitor the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light, while LYRA will measure solar output, which will become less intense as more of the Sun is obscured.

Those who wish to see this event, scientists have suggested using certified equipment such as solar eclipse glasses, or a solar telescope under professional guidance as, they say, observing the Sun with the naked eye is extremely dangerous and will cause permanent blindness.

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