Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Eclipse dazzles Australia, Pacific

10 May 2013, 10:00

Sydney - Sky gazers across the Australian Outback were among the lucky few to witness a solar eclipse on Friday as the moon glided between Earth and the sun, blocking everything but a dazzling ring of light.

The celestial spectacle, known as a "ring of fire" eclipse, is the second solar eclipse visible from northern Australia in six months. In November, a total solar eclipse plunged the country's northeast into darkness, delighting astronomers and tourists who flocked to the region from across the globe to witness it.

Friday's eclipse, also called an annular solar eclipse, is not considered as scientifically important or dramatic as November's, because the moon is too far from Earth - and therefore appears too small - to completely black out the sun. Unlike a total solar eclipse, which essentially turns day into night, an annular eclipse just dims the sunlight.

"A total eclipse is overall far more spectacular, far more emotional," said Andrew Jacob, an astronomer at Sydney Observatory. Still, he said, the eclipse "will give you a nice ring of sunlight in the sky - it will be quite different".

At remote outposts across Australia, scientists and spectators gathered to watch as the eclipse began casting its approximately 200km shadow at dawn over Western Australia, before moving east through the Northern Territory and the top of Queensland state.


The shadow was drifting across Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the tiny island nation of Kiribati, and will eventually end in a largely uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean.

The eclipse lasted between three and six minutes, depending on its location, and blacked out around 95% of the sun at its peak. A partial eclipse was visible to people in other parts of Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

US astronomer Jay Pasachoff, who travelled to Australia to view his 57th solar eclipse, drove to a remote hill in the Outback about 50km north of the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek, where he and around 100 others enjoyed one of the best and longest views of the eclipse in Australia.

Amateur astronomers clicked away on cameras and local high school students measured the drop in temperature as the moon moved in front of the sun and blocked out much of the light. The moment, Pasachoff said, was magical.

"The colour of the light changes in an eerie fashion, and you sense that something very strange and weird and wonderful is going on," said Pasachoff, an astronomy professor at Williams College in Massachusetts.

- AP

Tags astronomy

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...