The total solar eclipse wasn’t visible to most of the world, but several different organizations webcast live views of the rare eclipse.
A rare solar eclipse began at 4:35 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Nov. 13. for Americans viewing it but it actually happened Nov. 14 local time in Australia. The continent is ahead of America by 16 hours.
According to NASA, a full solar eclipse happens, on average, every 18 months. The last one happened in July 2010, crossing Chile’s Easter Island, and one will occur over equatorial Africa in November 2014. But for any given region, a total solar eclipse only happens, on average, once every 375 years.
A solar eclipse is often described as one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events. Some people are so moved by the experience of watching an eclipse that they travel around the world chasing them.
About an hour leading up to totality, all sorts of things begin to happen. There are changes in the color of the sky, the temperature drops, birds and animals behave in a peculiar manner and shadows sharpen, according to Rick Brown, an eclipse chaser from New York who is viewing his 14th total solar eclipse. “I never really expected to be moved the way I was. It’s a phenomenal thing to see,” he said, recalling his first experience.
As the moon’s shadow sweeps across the Earth, the sun turns into a crescent in the sky. Just before totality, so-called Baily’s beads — bright spots of sunlight shining through the moon’s craggy surface — can appear around the moon. Then the moon completely blots out the sun, leaving only a halo of light visible. After the brief period of darkness, Baily’s beads might appear again as the sun comes back into view.
According to National Geographic, in Australia, the eclipse could be seen from Garig Ganak Barlu National Park at 6:35 a.m. Cairns is the only city in the world where the two minute eclipse could be seen in its entirety.
After the totality of the event is over, the moon’s shadow swept out across the South Pacific Ocean, casting over thousands of miles long across uninhabited waters, reaching almost, but not quite, the coast of South America.
A partial eclipse was visible in Papua New Guinea, the extreme eastern part of Indonesia, eastern Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, part of Antarctica and the southern part of Chile and Argentina.
(Thanks to our sister station KTVI and to CNN for contributing to this report)