The skies over Australia and neighboring regions were ablaze with wonder as the rare and breathtaking solar eclipse of April 20, 2023, took center stage. From Western Australia to Timor-Leste and Indonesia, thousands of people gathered to witness this extraordinary astronomical event. The eclipse was a hybrid, starting as an annular eclipse in the Indian Ocean and transforming into a mesmerizing total solar eclipse before reaching the Australian continent.

Let’s start with the,

Solar eclipse over Australia on April 20, 2023:

Australia witnessed a rare and spectacular solar eclipse on April 20, 2023. The eclipse was visible from Western Australia, Timor-Leste, and Indonesia, near North West Cape. The eclipse was a hybrid. It began as an annular eclipse in the Indian Ocean. Then it transformed into a stunning complete eclipse before reaching Australia. The partial phase of the eclipse started at 10:04:32 AWST in the North West Cape region. This happened specifically in the town of Exmouth and lasted until 11:29:50 AWST.

The duration of totality was only 54 seconds, and the eclipse ended at 13:02:34 AWST. While the residents of the North West Cape were lucky enough to witness the full totality, the entire continent of Australia also witnessed a partial solar eclipse, where the Moon blocked some, but not all of the Sun’s disk as seen from Earth. Witnessing this incredible event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to behold the awe-inspiring power and beauty of nature. Those who were present at the eclipse can capture spectacular images and videos. These can be shared with others who were not within the eclipse path. This allows them to admire the magnificence of the event

Observing the Total Solar Eclipse:

Today, a total solar eclipse occurred, an uncommon and fascinating astronomical phenomenon caused by the moon’s passage across the sun’s disk. The eclipse, which took up to three hours to complete, was observed by skywatchers at the Ningaloo Eclipse site.

During around 60 seconds (depending on where you were), the moon fully blocked out the sun, leaving behind a breathtaking sight of the dwindling solar crescent. As the last of the sun disappeared behind the moon, an interesting optical phenomenon occurred, known as Baily’s Beads or the Diamond Ring Effect. This occurred when the final rays of sunlight passed between the rugged Lunar topography, leaving behind an enchanting diamond ring-like formation.

The total solar eclipse is a rare opportunity for astronomers and sky enthusiasts to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.

However, for the citizens of Australia, we got,

The Eclipse Quartet Of 2023–2038 In Australia:

Over the next 15 years, Australia will be able to witness five total solar eclipses. Four more eclipses will occur after this one.

  • On July 22, 2028, it will make its first appearance in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the southwestern section of Queensland, and New South Wales, eventually reaching the center of Sydney.
  • Beginning in South Australia on November 25 and continuing over Northwest New South Wales and Southern Queensland until sunset on November 25 in Southeast Queensland.
  • 13 July 2037 Over Brisbane and the Gold Coast from the south of Western Australia and the Territory’s western region.
  • On December 26, 2038, in the middle of Western Australia and South Australia and then along the New South Wales and Victoria border.

Follow the graphic below to see where these eclipses will be visible in Australia.

solar eclipse australia
The path of the solar eclipse on 20 April 2023. Michael Zeiler /

There are a few questions that might pop up in your head when we say Total eclipse. Some of them we have answered in the following,

When did people first record a total solar eclipse?

According to historians and astronomers, the epic eclipse that the two Chinese astrologers Hsi and Ho failed to predict occurred on October 22, 2134, B.C.E. Research shows that the Babylonians were familiar with the Saros Cycle (18 years and 11 days) and could use it to estimate when eclipses would occur, as this cycle was used to successfully anticipate and record the May 3, 1375, BCE eclipse.

Does a solar eclipse reduce the sun’s radiance?

The Moon temporarily blocks the Sun’s brightness during solar eclipses. During an eclipse, the sun emits less extraterrestrial irradiance (solar radiation) towards Earth. During an eclipse, the amount of solar power that reaches the Earth’s surface is reduced. This is due to the attenuation of the sun’s light by the atmosphere and clouds.

Solar eclipses and irradiance have a straightforward relationship, at least until you include the effects of the atmosphere and do the math. To accurately transfer extraterrestrial radiation to surface irradiance, several factors must be calculated. These include the zenith, azimuth, atmospheric conditions, cloud cover, and the position of the observer or asset. Understanding how an eclipse affects solar energy output and weather requires accurate modeling of these aspects.

How clouds will affect solar irradiance during the eclipse?

Cloud cover and atmospheric conditions affect solar irradiance as well as the eclipse’s direct effect. Solcast’s satellite cloud tracking technology provides accurate cloud cover and irradiance forecasts. These forecasts help us understand how the eclipse will affect solar energy production. Experts utilize satellite data to track cloud cover in real time to estimate solar irradiance during the eclipse. Experts use this data and eclipse irradiance modeling to understand how this event will effect solar energy output.


Published by: Sky Headlines