After a gap of more than two years, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible this week from northeastern Australia. Residents and visitors in Cairns in Queensland will see the moon completely cover the sun for two minutes in the eastern sky shortly after local sunrise.
Australia's total solar eclipse this week will occur at sunrise on Wednesday, Nov. 14 local time, though it will still be Tuesday afternoon for observers in North America tracking the event through webcasts.
This solar eclipse Down Under is followed by two more solar events in 2013 — an annular, or "ring of fire," eclipse on May 10, which can be viewed from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Gilbert Islands, and a special “hybrid” eclipse (a combination of annular and total solar eclipse) on Nov. 3, which will be visible from the African nations of Gabon, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
If you are chasing the eclipse by going to Australia, the South Pacific, or Africa, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make final preparations for your overseas eclipse adventure: