Total Solar Eclipse 2012 Video: Watch the Total Solar Eclipse From Down Under
The first total solar eclipse in two years made landfall in Queensland, Australia, yesterday for approximately two minutes during which the thousands who gathered around the Australian beaches — and those who followed NASA's live stream from around the world — were treated to a rare spectacle that untimely turns day into night in the kind of mythical experience that freaked out our ancestors (and still spooks the superstitious ones).
The phenomenon was a boost for local tourism, with estimates of $75—$78 million brought in by the solar eclipse chasers around the world who landed in Australia to witness the rare event — all while wearing safety goggles, and readying their cameras and other related paraphernalia (the last full solar eclipse visible from Australia was in 2002, and the next one is not due until 2028).
The moon blocked out the sun just after sunrise local time Wednesday, delighting an approximate 50,000 viewers in the beach town of Cairns and other nearby zones. American viewers who watched online were able to witness the phenomenon at approximately 3:35 p.m. (EST) because of the time zone difference.
The last total solar eclipse viewed from Earth took place in July 2010, and the next one won't occur until March 2015.
The total eclipse came to an end at 6:48 p.m. (EST) 610 miles west-northwest of Santiago, Chile (about 9,000 miles from its starting point).
While the next total solar eclipse won't occur until 2015, a so-called "hybrid" eclipse will come to Africa in November 2013.