Partial solar eclipse at sunset around Australia

Apr 28, 2014
Eclipse photo by David Cornfield, a member of the MIT cruise ship tour group, shows the "diamond ring" effect as the sun emerges from totality. Photo / David Cornfield

There will be a partial solar eclipse visible around sunset in Australia Tuesday 29 April. As much as two-thirds of the Sun will be blocked by the Moon dependent on location as northern parts of Australia will see less of the eclipse than the south.

Swinburne University of Technology astronomer Dr Alan Duffy said Australians have been fortunate to view a solar almost annually over the past few years, but a part from tomorrow won't have a chance to see the Sun so covered up by the Moon again until 2028.

"Eclipses are one of Nature's greatest visual spectacles and a powerful reminder that our Solar System is a dynamic and ever-changing place. For astronomers the eclipse is a great opportunity to learn about the corona, the outer edges of the Sun's atmosphere, which would normally be outshone by the rest of the Sun. Although this is only a it should still be quite a show.

"By viewing this eclipse you will be part of a tradition of eclipse watching here in Australia that dates back millennia, as Indigenous Australians were well aware that the Solar Eclipse was the Moon passing in front of the Sun, as distinct from a Lunar Eclipse, which occurred a few weeks ago, when the Moon is behind the Earth.

"A message to all budding astronomers out there is please do not look directly at the Sun. Even during an eclipse it is still easily capable of blinding you.

''Instead you can either use 'eclipse glasses' from your local planetarium, create your own pin hole camera, or even use a colander like you would to drain rice or veggies with, to get multiple images of the eclipse (always watching the shadow it casts).

"If all else fails and you've forgotten to bring something, just spread your fingers and place one hand over the other at 90 degrees to make lots of little square gaps between your fingers and look at the shadow that they form on the ground, " Dr Duffy said.

"That eclipses happen at all is an amazing coincidence, as the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon. But since the Moon is 400 times closer to Earth than the Sun, they both appear the same size in the sky and we get to witness this great natural phenomenon."

Explore further: NASA's LRO mission and North America to experience total lunar eclipse (Update)

More information: NASA viewing table for each Australian city: eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHtables/OH2014-Tab02.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A tetrad of Lunar eclipses

Mar 28, 2014

For people in the United States, an extraordinary series of lunar eclipses is about to begin.

Southern hemisphere to glimpse year's last solar eclipse

Nov 24, 2011

The tip of South Africa, Tasmania and most of New Zealand will -- weather permitting -- enjoy a partial eclipse of the Sun on Friday although the handful of hardy scientists in Antarctica will get the best view, according ...

Spacecraft capture solar eclipse's Earthly effect

Nov 16, 2012

A Japanese meteorology satellite captured the moving shadow from the total solar eclipse this week, and this animated series of images shows the shadow moving east-southeast across northeastern Australia ...

Recommended for you

Caterpillar comet poses for pictures en route to Mars

15 hours ago

Now that's pure gorgeous. As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sidles towards its October 19th encounter with Mars, it's passing a trio of sumptuous deep sky objects near the south celestial pole this week. ...

Hoisting a telescope with helium

15 hours ago

Many a child has forgotten to hold tight to the string of a helium balloon only to have it escape and rise until it disappeared in the glare of the sun. Helium balloons want to rise, but launching a balloon ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

OZGuy
1 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2014
"but a part from tomorrow won't have a chance to see the Sun so covered up by the Moon again until 2028..."


Try apart NOT a part.

Does anyone proofread these articles before they are released?