. Astronomy, Stellar, Planetary News .




ECLIPSES
Eclipse hunters chase sun to tropical Australia
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Nov 13, 2012


It lasts for barely two minutes, but the chance to witness the eerie spectacle of day turning briefly to night in a solar eclipse has brought thousands of shadow chasers to Australia.

Eclipse-hunters have flocked to Queensland's tropical northeast to watch the region's first total solar eclipse in 1,300 years on Wednesday, booking out everything from hot-air balloons to dive boats to view the lightshow.

"I think it's something extraordinary," said French tourist Annie Hautefeuille, who has come to view the eclipse which will occur as the moon passes between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow path on the globe.

The magic moment is when the moon completely covers the sun and it will last for a maximum on the Australian mainland of 2 minutes and 5 seconds, with the best vantage points in Queensland state.

For Hautefeuille, the opportunity to be in the top viewing spot was too good to miss, particularly after she saw one in western China several years ago.

What she will be looking for, when the sky darkens, the temperature drops and the moon becomes a black spot during the totality of the eclipse, will be the corona of the sun -- its gassy outer atmosphere which curves out in a pattern usually formed by its magnetic field.

As the earth is bathed in a surreal twilight, she will also be hoping to see prominences -- pink loops often seen flaring out from above the sun's upper surface.

"I heard it's described as an astronomic orgasm and I thought it was worth seeing," she recalled.

Hautefeuille is one a growing band of so-called eclipse hunters who travel the globe to view the event, even if it means journeying to places such as Easter Island, or Libya or Zimbabwe.

"It's nature's greatest natural phenomenon and more and more people are becoming more aware of it," said Dick Cijffers, managing director of Journeys Worldwide which runs specialist eclipse tours.

"When you go on your first eclipse you are termed to be an eclipse virgin.

"This is a relatively short eclipse but we will still find even in a short space birds will fall asleep."

Birds, confused by the strange coming of night, often lose their bearings and fly into buildings.

The shadow path of the eclipse will start near sunrise in the Northern Territory east of Darwin and travel to the east coast, passing over the Queensland tourist towns of Port Douglas and Cairns.

The Queensland government estimates that 50,000-60,000 people have travelled to the region -- which boasts the world-famous Great Barrier Reef -- for the event.

Accommodation is solidly booked -- from five-star hotels to camping grounds.

And officials are hoping the eclipse -- which is expected to be viewed by millions around the world -- will be a boon to a tourism industry struggling after floods in 2010 and the impact of the high Aussie dollar.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Rob Giason said the eclipse had brought many tourists, with high interest from Japan, the United States and Britain.

"Many of these people have seen a number of eclipses in various parts of the world and are basically chasers of the eclipse phenomena," he told AFP.

"It's been fantastic for us after a number of lean years to have this traffic but also the opportunity for us to showcase this part of the world."

The eclipse has prompted a series of events around it, including a festival and a marathon which will be held after the moon completes its eclipse journey shortly after 6:30am local time.

Lachlan Walker, general manager of the Sheraton Mirage at Port Douglas, said his hotel started taking group bookings from star-gazers two years ago.

"We've certainly struggled with the challenges of the high Australian dollar... so it's great to have an event like this in the low season," he said.

.


Related Links
Solar and Lunar Eclipses at Skynightly






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear

...





ECLIPSES
Total Eclipse of the Sun
Huntsville AL (SPX) Nov 12, 2012
People from around the world are converging on the coast of northeast Australia. The attraction isn't the Great Barrier Reef, just offshore, or the surrounding rain forests full of wildlife and exotic plants. They're going to see a total eclipse of the sun. On the morning of Nov. 14th (Australia time), about an hour after sunrise, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun. Residents ... read more


ECLIPSES
Keck Observations Bring Weather Of Uranus Into Sharp Focus

At Pluto, Moons and Debris May Be Hazardous to New Horizons Spacecraft During Flyby

Sharpest-ever Ground-based Images of Pluto and Charon: Proves a Powerful Tool for Exoplanet Discoveries

The Kuiper Belt at 20: Paradigm Changes in Our Knowledge of the Solar System

ECLIPSES
Strange diet for methane consuming microorganisms

Curious About Life: Interview with Jennifer Stern

Asteroid Belts at Just the Right Place are Friendly to Life

Curious About Life: Interview with Felipe Gomez

ECLIPSES
Discovery of a Giant Gap in the Disk of a Sun-like Star May Indicate Multiple Planets

Nearby six-planet system could be life friendly

Lost in Space: Rogue Planet Spotted?

Lowell Astronomer, Collaborators Point The Way For Exoplanet Search

ECLIPSES
NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery

What Arctic Rocks Say About Mars: An Interview with Hans Amundsen

More Driving And Imaging At 'Matijevic Hill'

Curiosity Team Switches Back to Earth Time

ECLIPSES
China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

ECLIPSES
New Australian telescope set to find 700,000 galaxies

Apocalypse and salvation strategy

Astronomers develop new method to determine neutron star mass

Cosmic GDP Crashes 97 percent As Star Formation Slumps

ECLIPSES
Surveying Earth's interior with atomic clocks

Storms, Ozone, Vegetation and More: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite Returns First Year of Data

NASA's SPoRT Team Tracks Hurricane Sandy

Sizing up biomass from space

ECLIPSES
Comet collisions every 6 seconds explain 17-year-old stellar mystery

NASA Radar Images Asteroid 2007 PA8

Ball Aerospace/B612 Foundation Sign Contract for Sentinel Mission

Scientists Monitor Comet Breakup




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement