'Ring of fire' eclipse crosses Australia, Pacific

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 10, 2013 at 5:35 am •  Published: May 10, 2013
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The eclipse lasted between three and six minutes, depending on its location, and blacked out around 95 percent of the sun at its peak. A partial eclipse was visible in other parts of Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

U.S. astronomer Jay Pasachoff, who traveled to Australia to view his 57th solar eclipse, drove to a remote hill in the Outback about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek, where he and around 100 others enjoyed one of the best and longest views of the eclipse in Australia.

Amateur astronomers clicked away on cameras and local high school students measured the drop in temperature as the moon moved in front of the sun and blocked out much of the light. The moment was magical, Pasachoff said.

"The color of the light changes in an eerie fashion, and you sense that something very strange and weird and wonderful is going on," said Pasachoff, an astronomy professor at Williams College in Massachusetts.