Best Spot to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Australia

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | November 13, 2012 12:46 PM EST

Australians should find a location with a clear view of the eastern horizon in order to witness the solar eclipse tomorrow. The rest of the Australian east coast can only view the partly covered sun.

In Victoria, the solar eclipse will reportedly start at 7:16am and estimated to last for about an hour and 45 minutes. Perry Vlahos of the Astronomical Society of Victoria stated that approximately 42% of the state's rising sun will be obscured by the eclipse which will take place at around 8:06am. Also, Perry Vlahos claimed that only Cairns and Port Douglas can catch a glimpse of the two-minute total solar eclipse turning the area into darkness.

Furthermore, Vlahos suggested that Victorian sky-gazers must ensure no trees or tall buildings are blocking their view since the sun is expected to be low in the sky when the eclipse begins. "Victorians need to find a spot with a clear view of the eastern horizon," Vlahos said.

"Around Melbourne, if you're on the western part of Port Phillip Bay on the beach looking across the bay that would be a good spot. On top of a hill that has good look at the horizon towards east would also be good, anywhere with a flat line to the horizon," Vlahos further suggested.

Meanwhile, Adelaide Planetarium professor Paul Curnow estimated that only 30% of the sun would be covered at mid-eclipse in Adelaide where it is expected to occur about 7:33am. "Even though here in Adelaide it's not a total eclipse, you will still be witnessing one of nature's rare events. It will be worthwhile getting up early to see part of the moon moving across the face of the sun," Curnow said.

In an interview to Weekly Times Now from Cairns, Perry Vlahos said that about 60,000 viewers had already gathered to experience the solar eclipse with some of them coming from as far as Europe. Also, an additional 15,000 spectators are expected to come in Port Douglas. "It's surprising and not surprising. Viewing a total solar eclipse can be very addictive for some people, and it helps that it's taking place at a good holiday destination," Vlahos stated.

As a safety precaution while viewing the eclipse, Vlahos urges the crowd to use the "Pinhole Projection Method" or simply put on safety glasses if they do not have a telescope with proper filters. "Never look at it directly," Vlahos affirmed.

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