Total Solar Eclipse November 2012
Programmer: Bill Kramer
Last update: January 05 2017
November 13, 2012
Location of Path
The best chance for avoiding clouds is around NE Australia and the seas to the east of the continent. When dealing with sunrise eclipses like this one, mobility can be an important factor for success. This is the region of the Great Barrier Reef meaning there will be limited mobility except in a cruise ship outside the reef area.
The coastal area along Australia's NE is mostly resorts along the beach and rain forest behind the beaches stretching for several miles to a mountain range. Weather systems can get trapped in that area - and so can eclipse chasers since the roads are difficult along the eclipse path. North - South travel along the coast is good as long as there are no traffic jams.
Animal reactions during the 2012 TSE from Cairns Wildlife Dome by Todd Thompson.
Special Note: This eclipse crosses the International Dateline and although it is listed to start on the 13th it actually begins in NE Australia at dawn on the 14th. As the path progresses eastward it crosses the International Dateline moving back to the 13th as it moves towards sunset to the west of Chile.
The majority of this total solar eclipse takes place over the South Pacific Ocean. Even though a low altitude eclipse can be a gamble, the best weather prospects for land based observing appear to be along the coast, north of Cairns in Australia towards Port Douglas. Do beware of the tides which can vary by almost 3 meters in that area. If setting up on the beach, note where the high tide mark is located and be ready to move if needed. The best weather potentials are at sea northwest of New Zealand. The maximum eclipse occurs far to the east of New Zealand and is just over four minutes.
In Cairns-Port Douglas area the eclipse starts right after sunrise (on the 14th) with first contact. This means that the weather must be clear well to the east from the observation site. The sun will only be about 14 degrees above the horizon at totality.
The area of the Southern Pacific Ocean that this eclipse covers has little to no land masses. Only a cruise ship (with several "at sea" days), or an aircraft, present an opportunity to view the eclipse. Cruising from New Zealand or Fiji will mean several days at sea on the ship to arrive and return to land. From Auckland NZ, the eclipse path is 360 miles to the NNE. The eclipse passes about 250 miles south of New Caledonia.
It may be possible to charter an air craft out of Australia for a morning eclipse (while the sun is below 20 degrees allowing for an easy view out the passenger windows) or out of Chile for an evening eclipse (just before sunset, out at sea). With the exception of Cairns Australia (and lucky weather) this eclipse presents real difficulty in viewing.
Eclipse 2012 Information
Visit Cairns Australia tourist information
Stars and Planets
Venus (Mag. -4) and Saturn (Mag. 0.6) will be visible in Virgo to the west of the eclipsed Sun in the middle of Libra. Mercury (Mag. 2.9) and Mars (Mag. 1.2) will be to the east in Scorpio.
Antares, the brightest star in Scorpio at Mag. 1.0 will be about half way between the eclipse and Mars. To the north of Saturn will be Arcturus at Mag. 0.2 (Mag. is Magnitude, a measurement of brightness).
Links to external websites
Mareeba, Queensland - Stig Linander