Much of south-east Australia was blacked out by a total eclipse of the sun on Saturday (23 October), however cloudy conditions marred the spectacle for some of the hundreds of scientists who had gathered in Australia for the event.
GV Melbourne skyline during eclipse of the sun
LV View of sun from Ballarat during eclipse
LV Sun during eclipse
SV Guinea pigs
LV View of sun during eclipse
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Background: Much of south-east Australia was blacked out by a total eclipse of the sun on Saturday (23 October), however cloudy conditions marred the spectacle for some of the hundreds of scientists who had gathered in Australia for the event.
SYNOPSIS: However, in Melbourne, there was a reasonable view and the city was blacked out for two minutes in the afternoon. The eclipse was broadcast live on television and some of the best results were obtained from cameras in the inland city of Ballarat. Australians were warned that looking directly at the eclipsed sun could cause permanent eye damage and even blindness.
Many animals were confused by the darkness and behaved as if the night had begun. The eclipse blacked out a 100-mile (160 kilometre) corridor stretching from Saudi Arabia, through south east Australia and on the Antarctic. Despite the warnings about the danger to sight, more than 1,000 callers sought advice at Melbourne hospitals. During a partial eclipse two years ago, about 170 people in Australia suffered permanent blindness.
Research teams from Japan and the United States joined Australian scientists in observing the event. It was their last chance this century to see a full eclipse in Australia. The next one will be in the year 2020.