Thousands to watch rare total eclipse in Australia



Agence France Presse

Published — Monday 12 November 2012

Last update 12 November 2012 3:53 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

SYDNEY: Tens of thousands of people were flocking to Australia’s tropical north Monday to watch a rare total solar eclipse, a phenomenon officials say has not been seen in the region in 1,300 years.
The Queensland state government expects up to 60,000 visitors will witness on Wednesday the alignment of the sun, moon and earth which creates one of the most spectacular sights in nature, essentially turning day into night.
Northern Australia is the only place where crowds will be able to view the eclipse, which will mainly take place over the vast South Pacific.
“This one is a bit unique because we are not going to have another eclipse in Australia for years,” said Journeys Worldwide managing director Dick Cijffers, who runs specialist eclipse tours.
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 toward the north of New Zealand.
From sunrise on Wednesday (2035 GMT Tuesday) the moon will begin to cross in front of the sun, gradually passing over it until it is completely covered, bringing with it a shadow path.
The whole process will take several hours, with the skies in the path gradually darkening and lightening again, but the maximum duration for the total eclipse on the Australian mainland will be two minutes and five seconds.
The best place to view the eclipse will be between Cairns and Port Douglas, tourism hotspots close to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rain forest.
Tourism operators say everything from camping grounds to five-star hotels have been booked up, with other eclipse watchers set to view the event from hot air balloons or boats moored on the center line of the eclipse.
“Cairns is pretty much full, it’s hard to find accommodation at the moment,” said a spokesman for Tourism Tropical North Queensland, adding that there had been keen interest from the United States, Japan and Germany.
For those positioned outside a roughly 150-kilometer (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.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The ongoing Janadriyah national heritage and culture festival welcomed German government representatives as the guests of honor, marking a new era in Saudi-German ties.Detlef Daues, chief executive officer of a German business group, said: “I...
RIYADH: Highlighting the importance of caring, preservation and better maintenance of mosques located along highways in the Kingdom, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Masajedna Foundation will honor excellence in...
ABHA: Women graduates in Asir say they are looking for private companies to hire them for online jobs which can be done at home.They asked businessmen to open new production lines for women in both factories and banks.The women said that this would c...
ABHA: Deviant groups have attempted to attract Saudi women to carry out terrorist operations by various means and in sinister ways.Many women have been found to have been recruited by terrorist groups inside and outside the Kingdom.Islamic scholar Mo...
RIYADH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has written a patriotic poem to inspire Saudi troops at the southern borders.Titled, “I wish to be with you,” the poem infuses encouragement in the hearts and minds of troops guarding the borders in Najran,...
RIYADH: A delegation of senior officials from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) visited the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) to discuss cooperation between the two institutions on sustainable energ...
RIYADH: The Office of the Education Department in eastern Taif has launched a program called “Fatin” which aims to protect students from intellectual threats around them.Fahhad Al-Zuibi, director at the Office for Education said, “The program aims to...
RIYADH: The Taif theater group won two awards when it participated recently in the ninth edition of a theatrical festival in Bahrain. The group, which represented the Kingdom in the theatrical festival, mounted a play production titled “Out of Contro...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the first festival for families with handicapped members at the King Fahd Cultural Center (KFCC) on Wednesday evening. The festival, which will last for three days, features a bazaar that displ...
RIYADH: A separate department to provide enhanced security to the Kingdom’s schools will be set up in all educational regions, Education Minister Ahmad Mohamed Al-Issa announced on Wednesday.Under the new directive, such departments will be establish...
RIYADH: Under a new ministerial ruling, payment of the minimum capital for industrial development is to be abolished.To support industrial development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a ministerial decree eliminating the requirement of t...
JEDDAH: The father of a student at Imam Nafie Primary School in Taif’s Qumariya neighborhood is upset because the teacher who had hit his son in the face has gone unpunished.Fahad Muhaimeed Al-Nufaei was quoted as saying to local media that the teach...
JEDDAH: While the Ministry of Education sees privatization of education as a positive development, there are investors who express there cautious reluctance by saying there would be intense competition in the field and the returns might be less than...
JEDDAH: The University of Birmingham will welcome over 1,000 Saudi students from across the UK to an annual conference that will showcase their potential for groundbreaking work and research innovation.As academic host for 2016, the university will w...
JEDDAH: Over a billion tons of foods in the world finds its way to garbage containers and dumps, said Ahmad bin Amer Al-Harbi, head of the Volunteerism Unit.Al-Harbi said that in the Kingdom alone, about 75,000 tons of rice is wasted annually. In add...

Stay Connected

Facebook