Wow, a Solar Eclipse!
And in 2012 the last one was here in Cairns Australia.
We had about 2 minutes of total Eclipse at 06.38, on November 14, 2012 (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
The full eclipse lasted about 2hours.
The whole district geared up for it and it just so happens that every year, Cairns holds a marathon from Cairns to Port Douglas.
This year there was a special Eclipse marathon as they both fall on the same day! So there was even more incentive for everyone to be here for the special event.
When I was 18 years old, we had a total eclipse in Victoria where I grew up. I don't remember a lot of it because it wasn't something that was of interest to me at the time. I remember it went very dark. We were told we couldn't look at the sun or we'd have permanent eye damage, hence I didn't look up!
This time round, I was very interested.
Our house is a 2 storey Queenslander and only a couple of minutes from the Cairns Esplanade, so we thought we'd get a pretty spectacular sight.
As it happened, the clouds were covering the sun and just after the total eclipse, the cloud cover shifted!
We were so disappointed, however it was still quite eerie with the sudden quietness. All the birds stopped chirping and there was no traffic at all going past.
The best photos we happened to get were after the total eclipse.
Hotels booked out fast. Palm Cove seemed to be the best vantage point and people came from all over the world to view this spectacular event. Even people from NASA came and also "Solar Eclipse Chasers" were here.
A total eclipse is a rare occurrence in a fixed location and the last one that Australia saw was in 2002 in a remote area of South Australia.
We've only seen a total of 3 solar eclipse in Australia in the last 80 years.
A partial eclipse is much more common and most of us would have seen one in our life time.
From what the experts say, there's a very big difference between a 99.9% partial eclipse to a total, and that's pretty much what everyone said after they were privileged to watch it.
The next opportunity to see one in Australia isn't coming around for quite some time.
You'll have to wait 11 years for it and it'll be another one that's in a very remote are, Exmouth, Western Australia.
In layman's terms, it's when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and it all happens in a direct line.
There's only a very small window of opportunity for it to occur, as it can only happen at a new moon. However, it doesn't occur at every new moon due to the orbital incline of the Moon in relation to the Earth.
So, if you've never seen one then make it your business to find out where the next one is and try to get there.
It's well worth the effort.
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