Residents witness eclipse
HUNDREDS of Whitsunday residents took to the streets to see yesterday's solar eclipse, which was visible at about 95 per cent. The eclipse began not long after sunrise and peaked at about 6.38am, when day became an eerie grey night.
Tony and Deb Brown and their children 11-year-old Holly and 16-year-old Sam, were among those who headed to Cannonvale Beach.
Mr Brown said he had previously seen a 100 per cent eclipse in the UK and initially expected the sky to be darker.
"But when you think about it, if you had five per cent of the sun sticking up just above the hill it would still be pretty light so I guess our expectations are higher than they should be," he said.
What really interested the Browns was the noticeable change in temperature when the sun was almost entirely obscured.
"It really did drop off," Mr Brown said.
At the end of the event the Browns said they were happy to have witnessed it.
"It was a once in a lifetime event not to be missed," Mrs Brown said.
Experts say a solar eclipse happens when the moon travels between the sun and the earth during the new moon phase, totally obscuring the sun, with the necessary alignment occurring roughly every 18 months.
Yesterday's 100 per cent eclipse of the sun was seen in the Cairns and Port Douglas region across a path around 200km wide. The last total eclipse in this region was in AD710. The next solar eclipse visible in Australia will take place over Sydney, in 2028.
To view eclipse photos submitted by Whitsunday Times readers, go to www.whitsundaytimes.com.au.