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Toowoomba prepares for partial solar eclipse

08 November 2012
Toowoomba residents can expect a spectacular sight like this during the partial solar eclipse
The Toowoomba community is invited to keep their eyes on the sky during a viewing of the partial solar eclipse on Wednesday, November 14 at the Cobb and Co Museum.

Local astronomers will be providing commentary about this rare astronomical event and telescopes and special eclipse glasses will be provided so people can watch the partial eclipse without worrying about damaging their eyes.

University of Southern Queensland astronomer Brad Carter said he expected about 80 per cent of the sun to be blocked by the moon during the event.

‘People up north in Cairns will be able to see a total eclipse where all the sun will be blocked by the moon and everything should go totally dark for about two minutes,’ Dr Carter said.

‘However, even a partial eclipse is still a spectacular sight and the Toowoomba landscape will get noticeably dimmer during the early morning eclipse.’

Dr Carter warned of the dangers of looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection and said there would be telescopes available for safe observation, as well as $3 glasses that would allow people to view the eclipse without worrying about permanent eye damage.

A sausage sizzle and refreshments will also be available to purchase at the museum.

Dr Carter said the Toowoomba residents who couldn’t make the trip up north could wait until July 2037, when the city will be able to view a total solar eclipse.

‘A solar total eclipse can be a once in a lifetime event,’ he said.

If you’d like to join other Toowoomba sky-watchers on November 14, be at the Cobb and Co Museum for the duration of the eclipse between 6am and 8am (maximum eclipse is predicted to occur around 6.54am).

The CFM Sea Cruiser will be on site with lots of giveaways.

For more information, call Debbie White from USQ on 4631 2361 or email whited@usq.edu.au.

Media contact:

Jim Campbell, jim.campbell@usq.edu.au, 07 4631 2977
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