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‘Mind-blowing’ rare solar eclipse wows in Australia and Indonesia

The rare and spectacular solar eclipse was witnessed by thousands of people in a remote Australian village.

Exmouth has just 3,000 residents, but 20,000 people came to the town after it was advertised as the best place in the country for viewing the celestial phenomenon.

The eclipse plunged Australia’s Northwest Coast into darkness at midday local time, Thursday. Temperatures dropped by 5C (9F), as the shadow of the moon enveloped the area.

The crowds had arrived in droves days before the event to get the best viewing spot. They camped on a dusty, red plain at the edge of town, with cameras and equipment pointed skywards.


Tim Peake retired British astronaut described his experience of watching the eclipse at Exmouth as “surreal”.

He said to Sky News that it was in the last moments of the experience when the darkness came on very quickly and the temperature dropped. The animals stopped moving, the birds went into roosting, (it) was an almost surreal, eerie experience. It was incredible.

He added, “It was amazing being surrounded by so many people and to witness the emotional response of humans to an unnatural event. Watching it turn dark in the middle the day was a truly incredible experience.”

Eclipse: More Information

Henry Throop of NASA, who was in Exmouth at the same time, described the eclipse as “mind blowing”.

He said, “It was bright and sharp. You could see the outermost layer of sun’s atmosphere (the corona) there.”

“It was only one minute, but it seemed like an eternity.” You can’t see anything else that looks like it. It was amazing. Spectacular.”

Image: Total solar eclipse in Exmouth

Mr Throop from Washington said Jupiter and Mercury was also visible. He added: “Even observing Mercury at all is pretty uncommon.” “That was awesome.

Julie Copson, another stargazer from Freemantle, on the west coast, traveled more than 1,000km (600 miles) to see the phenomenon.

She said, “I felt like I was going to cry.”

Exmouth, Australia Eclipse image:

‘Crazy phenomenon’

This was the first “hybrid eclipse” since 2013. The moon can cover the sun, if you are standing at the right angle, in a total solar eclipse, or it can obscure the center, leaving a “ring” of fire, if you’re viewing from the left.

At the Jakarta Planetarium, Indonesia’s capital, hundreds of people watched the partial eclipse partially obscured by cloud cover.

As the eclipse phase started, the call to prayer was heard from the mosques of the city. Muslims said eclipse prayers as a way to remind themselves of God’s grandeur.

Image: Eclipse seen in Padang (West Sumatra Province, Indonesia)
Image: An unusual hybrid solar eclipse was observed at Jakarta Planetarium, Jakarta, Indonesia

East Timor is located east of Australia, Indonesia and Australia.

NASA solar expert Michael Kirk explained that they occur when the Earth is in a “sweet spot”, so that the moon and the sun appear to be nearly the same size.

Kirk said, “It is a bizarre phenomenon.” You’re watching the moon grow in size.

Image: Picture: AP

On 14 October, millions of people in North, Central, and South America will be able to see an annular eclipse as it crosses the continent.

Read More:

The moon may get its own time zone, but the clocks there work differently

Asteroid closes the gap between Earth and Moon at 17,500mph

Astronauts could be living and working on the Moon within 10 years

NASA has announced that the first satellite to be launched will start in the US and travel from Oregon’s coast up to the Texas Gulf Coast. Weather permitting, it will be visible throughout Oregon, Nevada and Utah, New Mexico, Texas and parts of California, Idaho and Colorado.

The eclipse will then continue on to Central America, where it will pass over Mexico, Belize and Honduras. The eclipse will pass through Colombia in South America before it ends off the coast of Natal Brazil, on the Atlantic Ocean.


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