My thanks to Gerry Pease for sending in this press cutting from Queensland Autralia, where a 2 minute 5 second totality Solar Eclipse took place on November 14. He and his good lady witnessed this awesome celestial event:
We were on the Palm Beach jetty, on a part of it where (surprisingly) it was not very crowded, and we had a great naked eye and 7X binocular view throughout the two minute totality. Barbara took some pictures of the eclipsed Sun at totality and of the crowds after totality, which we may send out later.
Gerry Tells us:
The diamond following totality got really bright a fraction of a second after the above picture was taken, totally wowing all observers. This was one of the most spectacular solar eclipse diamonds that Barbara and I have seen in any of the four total eclipses we have observed.
An interesting difference of this one from the three total solar eclipses we have experienced was the low elevation angle of the eclipsed Sun – only 19 degrees above the ocean horizon. Though it went from bright daylight to darkness in the blink of an eye, as all total solar eclipses do, it didn’t get pitch black because of the sunlight reflecting off the ocean below and clouds above at a low angle of incidence.
Despite the lack of total darkness, the bright red Baily’s Beads all around the circumference of the eclipsed Sun were quite visible to the naked eye, though not well captured in any of the pictures I have seen of this eclipse. No eclipse pictures ever do justice to the total eclipse experience, though.
SYDNEY (AP) — From boats bobbing on the Great Barrier Reef, to hot air balloons hovering over the rainforest, and the hilltops and beaches in between, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists and amateur astronomers watched as the sun, moon and Earth aligned and plunged northern Australia into darkness during a total solar eclipse Wednesday.
Stubborn clouds that many feared would ruin the view parted — somewhat — in north Queensland, defying forecasts of a total eclipse-viewing bust and relieving spectators who had fanned out to glimpse the celestial phenomenon.
“Immediately before, I was thinking, ‘Are we gonna see this?’ And we just had a fantastic display — it was just beautiful,” said Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, who has seen a dozen total solar eclipses over the years. “And right after it finished, the clouds came back again. It really adds to the drama of it.”
Spectators whooped and clapped with delight as the moon passed between the sun and Earth, leaving a slice of the continent’s northeast in sudden darkness.
Starting just after dawn, the eclipse cast its 150-kilometer (95-mile) shadow in Australia’s Northern Territory, crossed the northeast tip of the country and was swooping east across the South Pacific, where no islands are in its direct path. A partial eclipse was visible from east Indonesia, the eastern half of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and southern parts of Chile and Argentina. Totality — the darkness that happens at the peak of the eclipse — lasted just over two minutes in the parts of Australia where it was visible.