‘Awesome’ solar eclipse wows viewers across the world


Under a cloudless sky, 20,000 eclipse chasers crowded a tiny outpost to watch a rare solar eclipse plunge part of Australia’s northwest coast into brief midday darkness Thursday while temporarily cooling the tropical heat. The remote tourist town of Exmouth, with fewer than 3,000 residents, was promoted as one of the best vantage points in Australia to see the eclipse that also crossed remote parts of Indonesia and East Timor.
An international crowd had been gathering for days, camping in tents and trailers on a red, dusty plain on the edge of town with cameras and other viewing equipment pointed skyward.NASA astronomer Henry Throop was among those at Exmouth cheering loudly in the darkness.
“Isn’t it incredible? This is so fantastic. It was mind-blowing. It was so sharp and it was so bright. You could see the corona around the sun there,” the visibly excited Washington resident said.
“It’s only a minute long, but it really felt like a long time. There’s nothing else you can see which looks like that. It was just awesome. Spectacular. And then you could see Jupiter and Mercury and to be able to see those at the same time during the day — even seeing Mercury at all is pretty rare. So that was just awesome,” Throop added.
First-time eclipse chaser Julie Copson, who traveled more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) north from the Australian west-coast port city of Fremantle to Exmouth, said the phenomenon left her skin tingling.
“It was very strong and the temperature dropped so much,” she added, referring to a sudden 5-degree-Celsius (9-degree-Fahrenheit) fall in temperature from 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) when the moon’s shadow enveloped the region.
“I am still happy to come even though it is cloudy. It is happy to see how people with high enthusiasm come here to see the eclipse, because it is rare,” Azzahra said.
In East Timor, people gathered around the beach in Lautem municipality, waiting to witness the rare solar eclipse through their eclipse glasses.Some of them came from other countries and gathered with locals to have a clear view of the eclipse.
At some points, the moon is a little closer and blocks out the sun in a total eclipse. But when the moon Several other upcoming solar eclipses will be easier to catch. An annular eclipse in mid-October and a total eclipse in April 2024 will both cross over millions of people in the Americas.