Residents of Queensland, Australia will be having a strange wake up Wednesday morning. At approximately 6:35 am local time, a solar eclipse will occur, bringing darkness back over the area only an hour after sunrise. The total solar eclipse is expected to last for a few minutes, dropping temperatures by 15-20°F in fully shadowed regions. Many people have gathered to view the rare astronomical phenomena in Port Douglas, Mareeba, Cairns and other areas in northeastern Queensland. Unfortunately, the skies will be cloudy for the event, limiting the visibility of the spectacle.
Solar eclipses are caused by the moon aligning itself between the sun and earth, creating a shadow on the earth's surface. Because the moon's orbit and the earth's orbit are not on the same plane, these events are rare, happening once every two to three years. It is even more rare for us to catch a glimpse of these events, as many times the eclipses' shadows are cast over the ocean. The next solar eclipse is expected to happen in June of 2015.
The Northern Hemisphere will miss out on seeing the eclipse due to the moon's southerly position in the sky. Our skies will stay cloudy just like Australia's.
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