14 November 2012 11:45 | By MSN News
PHOTOS: Magnificent total eclipse over northern Australia

One of the nature's greatest phenomena -- a total eclipse of the sun - took place over Australian skies Wednesday morning, leaving star-gazers in awe.



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Northern Australia was momentarily shrouded in darkness this morning as residents and thousands of tourists experienced a rare total solar eclipse.

All eyes and cameras turned to the heavens from 5.45am local time (8.15am Singapore time) as the moon began moving between the Earth and the sun, like a small bite which gradually increases in size.

Cloud cover threatened to spoil the party and huge cheers erupted when they parted to give tens of thousands of eclipse hunters a perfect view of totality - when the moon completely covers the sun and a faint halo or corona appears.

When it happened the early chatter of birds and animals was replaced by an eerie silence as the moon overtook the sun, casting a shadow that plunged the land into darkness, with temperatures dropping.

The rare spectacle, which was viewed live by millions around the world, drew thousands of eclipse tourists to Queensland with the state government estimating that 50,000-60,000 people made the trip.

Total eclipses can be seen from a given point on Earth's surface only once every 410 years in the northern hemisphere, but only once every 540 years in the southern hemisphere.

The last total eclipse was on July 11, 2010, again over the South Pacific.  READ FULL STORY


 

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