have lately been two solar eclipses in Cape York.
It is a rare astronomical
phenomenon where the
moon passes across the surface of the sun (when watched
from the Earth).
It does not happen altogether that often, world wide there are only a few every year
that are possible to see from land surface (since the
oceans cover 70% of the Earth's total surface, leaving only 30% for
In a given place it
definitely is a very rare event, and most people don't
dream about seeing one where they live during their lifetime.
Now consider our luck.
hadn't been any solar
eclipses in north Queensland for 1,300
Then there was the eclipse
was a total eclipse.
The 2012 eclipse, Mareeba.
The 2012 eclipse
already an event of a lifetime, or rather 10 considering the 1,300
As if that was not enough, we
had a next solar eclipse
only six months later!
Now that is really rare anywhere in the world!!!
The second one - the 2013
eclipse - was
on the 10. May 2013,
and it was an annular
meaning it does not go totally dark, it's more like a ring (on the
photo below though the background would have been dark thanks to the
filter, if it wasn't that a cloud decided to filter it for me instead).
The 2013 eclipse,
I am not an eclipse
chaser but I made sure I saw them both.
How would you not when they are almost in your back yard???
And that said I drove almost 1000km in total, and they were both fantastic to see
NEWThe Solar Eclipse 2012
page has been moved here (and the link to the next, 2013 one is in the
end of the page):
of them rare events
that some people sleep through but others can travel across the globe
to see, and it's coming
to Cape York
There have been so much talk about it, accommodation is all booked out
and special events have been planned around the rare happening.
But what is a solar eclipse?
It's when the moon is
the Earth and the sun, leaving a shadow so large on the Earth that the
daylight disappears in places where it can be seen. You can
watch the moon
gradually gliding across the sun, going through
different phases known as Baily's Beads, Diamond Ring Effect and
When Can the Solar Eclipse
2012 Be Seen?
It's between 5.45 and 7.40am on the
2012 local time (Brisbane
UTC +10). In the most of the rest of the world it is still the 13.
Where Can the Solar Eclipse
2012 Be Seen?
It can be
seen only in the southern
parts of Cape York Peninsula.
of it passes
through between Port
in the north and Mt Molloy
Carbine in the south, then moves right to the Palmer River Roadhouse,
then continues from there across some very little inhabited land
inluding the northern end of Palmer
River Goldfields west to Pormpuraaw.
But you don't have to be
in the centre
to see it.
The whole area it covers is a broader belt the northern edge of which
passes across Wujal Wujal,
Laura and Hann River Roadhouse,
the south you can see it as far as in Innisfail and Atherton Tablelands
in the east, and Kowanyama in the west.
NEW Read here what the2012 Solar
The 2012 Solar
it seemed we had
everything against us.
It's the Wet Season in
part of Australia.
The weather prediction for the week looked hopeless.
day in the week had
sun and more or less clear skies, but Wednesday
the 14th of November had clouds over Cape York and on the
of far north Queensland it was predicted to rain.
looking so slim we decided it needs to be a dry place and headed to
There were low morning clouds above the horizon but the sun rose out of
them in no time, and for
the rest of
the time we enjoyed the skies perfectly cloudless!
Watching the 2012 eclipse in
Partial Phases of the 2012
Almost immediately the moon
across the surface of the sun,
but like you see on the photo above, you cannot even see it unless you
use solar eclipse glasses, or a solar filter for your camera (and you
must not look into the sun without proper protection anyway).
As the moon moved further and further in, the light started dimming and you
a few stars.
the end of the partial phase.
Temperatures dropped.. Birds
quiet and started flying to their roosting grounds.
to the total phase.
Total Phases of the 2012 Solar
suddenly, it went into the so-called Diamond Ring phase. That's when the light drops to darkness.
photos above look dark because I was using a solar filter on my camera,
but the photos below were taken with no filter - that's how dark it actually was!
diamond Ring phase, 2012 solar
After the Diamond Ring comes the Baily's Beads phase, where the very
last of the sun's surface is seen through the moon's valleys (not so
good a pic but I didn't
want to spend
the whole time playing with the camera - I've read some
photographers saying "I have never actually SEEN an eclipse").
Beads just before the total
And then it enters the phase of totality. It is so beautiful, even
emotional, and you look around and everything is in darkness - a strange, eerie darkness,
the darkness of a night.
That is the beauty of a total solar eclipse - a
partial one never
enters the darkness phases.
You could see this eclipse from many other parts of Australia, but
anywhere south of Innisfail (and north of Cedar Bay on
it was only a partial one.
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my vehicle-recovery-guy partner).
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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