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  • Rapt in Awe

    My Journey through the Astronomical Year

    Think of this as a "companion text" to this, the main web site. Not required reading, butI hope you'll find it interesting and helpful.

Total solar eclipse November 13/14 – live IN Australia or live FROM Australia

My friends Dom and Daphne will be heading for Cairns, Australia for their first  total  solar eclipse shortly after sunrise November 14 (Australian time) – and so will a team from NASA, among others, who will web cast the total solar eclipse on November 13 (ET) that Dom and Daphne hope to witness live. Sure hope they’ve made all the proper sacrifices to the weather gods!

I say November 13/14 because it depends which side of the International Dateline you are on exactly which day you see this event – and it depends on exactly where you are – or where your web cast is originating from – exactly when the event takes place. But for those of us on the East Coast of America it will be roughly between 3:00 and 5:30 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 that we’ll get to see the live web cast of the eclipse. And, of course, the web cast will depend on weather conditions as well – but there are several web cast from different locations, so hopefully one or more will be cloud free.

Dsphene writes: “We fly into Cairns and then go to Port Douglas. Early in the morning of the 14th we’ll be driven to a farm from where we’ll watch the eclipse.”  They are in Sydney, so this is no small hike for them. But the event is exciting enough to draw about 50,000 other eclipse watchers from around the world to the same general area of Australia where they will be.  Daphne included this map.

Cairns will  have 2 minutes of totality just an hour after daybreak  with the sun at an altitude of just 14° -and that should mean some fantastic photos that include foreground objects.

My primary target will be the NASA broadcast coming from the same area Dom and Daphne are – Cairns. It begins live from there at 5 am on the 14 there time – for those of us on the East Coast that will be 3 pm ET Tuesday, November 13.

While the eclipse won’t actually start there for about 45 minutes, I’ll be checking in right at 3 pm to make sure the connection is good and to see how the weather is. If there are problems there, I plan to try some of the other eclipse sites listed below.

While I at first turned up my nose to these types of web cast – it really is impossible to duplicate the experience of being there – I’ve changed my tune considerably having watched a few events of this sort. The live web experience is really the next best thing to being there – better than just seeing an instant replay some time later. (Not entirely sure why that is so, but that’s been my experience.)

And it will be fun to know I have friends there experiencing their first total ecclipse along with many other Australians and many who have travelled there. Australia is the only place that will get the total eclipse – well, the only dry place. The Moon’s shadow will sweep across the Pacific and there are cruise ships that will do their best to position themselves in cloud-free areas so their passengers can watch the event.

Oh –  and start making plans for August 21, 2017 when a total solar eclipse will come to the United States! Viewing this one by Web is a good way to whet your appetite for that event.

To learn more about solar eclipses, go here.

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