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First Solar Eclipse of 2013 Visible for Most of Australia

By Vickie Frantz, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
May 10, 2013; 6:16 AM

The first solar eclipse of the year will be visible in parts of Australia, eastern Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, eastern Indonesia and the southern Philippines, weather permitting.

In the towns of Sydney and Canberra, the eclipse viewing conditions should be good. "Scattered clouds will cause poor viewing conditions for the towns of Perth, Adelaide and possibly Melbourne," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Erik Pindrock.

"The eclipse begins at sunrise Friday morning local time over the wilderness of western Australia. It then sweeps over the unpopulated Northern Territory and continues across northern Queensland, far to the north of Cairns," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Mark Paquette.

During annular solar eclipses, the moon casts a shadow on the face of the Earth when it passes between the planet and the sun, blocking the sun's light from reaching the Earth.

"Because of its orbit, the moon still appears about 4.5 percent smaller than the sun, creating the distinct ring in the sky, the so called "ring of fire" that we have heard about," said Paquette.

Not many people will get to see the eclipse due to the path being over some of the most desolate parts of the Earth, Paquette said.

This eclipse graphic is courtesy of NASA.

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