A total solar eclipse visible across Australia and East Timor

A total solar eclipse visible across Australia and East Timor

Professional astronomers and amateur cosmologists flocked to a remote region of western Australia on Thursday to witness a total solar eclipse that saw the moon eclipse our nearest star for 58 seconds.

In Exmouth, on Australia’s north-western tip, stargazers parked their caravans, set up their telescopes and donned their goggles to watch the moon pass the sun before the total eclipse.

“A lot of people get addicted to that weird, otherworldly moment,” said John Lattanzio of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

“They become + eclipse hunters + and travel the world to repeat the experience.”

At 11:29 local time (01:29 GMT) darkness settled over the spectators, bathing them in an eerie calm before fifty-eight seconds later the sun returned and bathed the outback in its bright Australian dusty outback.

At the other end of the continent, in Sydney, the eclipse was only partial, with less than 20% of the sun’s surface obscured by the moon.


In East Timor, more than a thousand people, including tourists and stargazers from Southeast Asian countries, gathered at Com Beach in the country’s far east to witness the one-minute total solar eclipse.

Stargazers observed the rare phenomenon through UV goggles distributed by astronomer groups, while others used telescopes provided by the National University of East Timor.

At a planetarium in Jakarta, thousands of people waited to watch through telescopes the partial occultation of the Sun – with about 40% of the Sun being obscured.

In a suburb of the Indonesian capital Bekasi, Kristoforus Aryo Bagaskoro and his 10-year-old daughter Tara observed the phenomenon on the reflective surface of a bucket filled with water.

“Tara hasn’t stopped talking about it since yesterday, so this morning I used water to watch her outside our house,” the father said. “It was a rare event. Tara was ecstatic and kept asking why this could happen.

For the little girl, the eclipse was “brilliant.”

In particular, the phenomenon allowed scientists to observe the solar corona, which is normally obscured by its light rays. When Albert Einstein witnessed a similar solar eclipse, he hypothesized that light rays could bend.