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Thousands await solar eclipse in Australia

/ 12:24 PM November 13, 2012

his May 21, 2012 file photo shows an annular solar eclipse appears in the sky over Yokohama near Tokyo. Solar eclipses typically attract tourists who travel around the world to remote places to witness the celestial phenomenon. Australia is expecting 50,000 visitors for a Nov. 14 solar eclipse that will be visible from the Cairns-Port Douglas area in Queensland. AP/Koji Sasahara, file

SYDNEY — Tens of thousands of tourists, scientists and amateur astronomers are waiting anxiously across tropical northern Australia to find out whether the clouds will part in time for a total eclipse of the sun.

The eclipse will begin just after sunrise Wednesday. But meteorologists are predicting clouds along the coast, which could spoil the view.

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The eclipse will cast its 150-kilometer (95-mile) wide shadow starting at dawn in Australia’s Northern Territory. It will cross the northeast tip of the country and move across the South Pacific. A partial eclipse will be visible from eastern Indonesia, the eastern half of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and southern parts of Chile and Argentina. Totality — the darkness that happens at the peak of the eclipse — will last just over two minutes.

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TAGS: Australia, Solar eclipse
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