Sun to Play Houdini Thanks to Solar Eclipse

By Evan Duffey, Meteorologist
November 13, 2012; 6:19 PM ET
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A total eclipse of the sun will occur on Wednesday across parts of Australia, with the entire nation at least getting a partial eclipse.

A solar eclipse, where the moon travels between the Earth and the sun, is a somewhat rare astronomical phenomenon. Early on Wednesday, Nov. 14, parts of Australia will be recast in darkness as the moon blocks all of the sun's rays.

The only major city in the path of totality (the surface of the Earth which will experience a total eclipse) will be Cairns in Queensland.

However, the populated portions of eastern Australia will be lucky enough to see a significant partial eclipse. Cities further north along the coast will see a more complete eclipse, with all of coastal Queensland seeing 80 percent or more of the suns diameter disappear.

Farther south, coastal New South Wales will at least get to experience an eclipse of 60 percent of the sun, while both Adelaide and Melbourne will have the chance to witness at least half of the sun's disappearing act.

So where will the viewing conditions be best? Luckily for those in Queensland near the path of totality the weather will be highly cooperative, with mostly sunny skies during the eclipses duration.

Areas that may not have perfect conditions will occur for the Arnhem Land and the Cape York Peninsula where some tropical cloudiness may partially block the eclipse. Also, the usual low clouds may be in place across coastal New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, which could limit the amount of time viewers will have to view the eclipse.

As always never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, as it can damage your eyes. Special goggles or even homemade devices can both protect your vision, and allow you to witness the rare event safely.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Photos.com

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