Australia Total Solar Eclipse 2012: 'Absolutely breathtaking'

By @ibtimesau on

To say it was a sight to behold was more than an understatement. To say it was a sight to behold was more than an understatement. Chasers of the Australian total solar eclipse were merely speechless of the natural phenomenon that occurred on Wednesday.

"I was speechless, I was shaking, I had goosebumps, I was in awe," Dr Kate Russo, a psychologist and avid "eclipse chaser," told the AAP on Wednesday.

"It was the most incredible thing I've ever seen - it was like I'd just woken up and my life had changed."

On Wednesday, thousands of people flocked to tourist towns in far north Queensland to witness Australia's first total solar eclipse since a decade ago.

Earlier, clouds threatened to ruin the affair. But as if on cue, it dissipated in time for many to watch as the moon disfigured out the sun's rays and cast a shadow over Australia's tropical landscape.

"Immediately before, I was thinking, 'Are we gonna see this?' And we just had a fantastic display - it was just beautiful," Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, one of the estimated 60,000 tourists and locals who saw the celestial phenomenon, said.

"And right after it finished, the clouds came back again. It really adds to the drama of it."

At 6.39am, and onwards for two minutes, the early morning sky turned to a color indigo.

"When you look at the sky in any direction for a couple of hundred kilometres, you can see parts of the atmosphere which are outside the moon's shadow," Dr Stuart Ryder, of the Australian Astronomical Observatory, said.

"So you'll see a black hole in the sky, with a pearly white filamentary corona around it for several degrees."

This month's total solar eclipse produced a shadow that is 150km wide. It began over the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, progressed eastwards across the Gulf of Carpentaria and then traversed Queensland shortly after dawn.

The next total solar eclipse visible from Australian shores will be on year 2028.

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