A rare spectacle occurred in the small coastal town of Exmouth, Western Australia, on Thursday afternoon (local time): thousands of people watched a total solar eclipse lasting about 58 seconds. Spectators from around the world cheered on a viewing platform set up in advance about 20 kilometers outside the city as the moon completely covered the sun, darkening the sky.
“It was overwhelming,” NASA astronomer Henry Thrupp told Australian ABC News. “It only lasted a minute, but it felt like a long time.” The spectacle was particularly visible in Western Australia, but people in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne were also able to observe a partial solar eclipse in the afternoon. In addition to Australia, the eclipse can also be seen in East Timor, West New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The sky event was a so-called hybrid solar eclipse, which is a combination of total and annular eclipses of the sun. The moon does not completely cover the sun, at the beginning and end the ring of the sun can be seen. This phenomenon accounts for only about three percent of all solar eclipses and is not expected to occur again until November 2031.
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