Total eclipse in the South Pacific

Yesterday a glimmering sun was obscured by the moon in one of the most incredible displays our solar system puts on for us, a total eclipse. Those in the South Pacific were lucky enough to witness a lunar shadow completely obscure the sun.

The best seats were had by those on a “62 mile stretch on the north-eastern coast of Australia, overlooking the Barrier Reef” said eclipse expert, Jay Pasachoff from Williams College, Massachusetts. Onlookers located there will be able to enjoy two minutes of total eclipse.

As the moon passed in front of the sun onlookers in Queensland, Australia noted a quick drop in temperature and that stars were suddenly visible.

Mr Pasachoff, said the eclipse gives a unique opportunity to monitor the solar corona.”We get to study the motions and dynamics of the solar corona, the variations in temperature, the effect of the solar magnetic field on the corona, and other aspects that can only be done from the ground during an eclipse—not from a spacecraft.”

The corona is like the atmosphere of the sun and is superheated plasma that extends thousands of kilometers into space. It is visible as the whispy lines of light we see around a total eclipse.

This is the last total eclipse we will be able to witness until March 2015, be prepared for it by making your very own solar eclipse viewer.

source: National Geographic

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