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A solar eclipse
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A total solar eclipse will appear above Australia for the first time since 2012

This incredibly rare phenomena will be visible soon

Maya Skidmore
Written by
Maya Skidmore

Celestial-seekers, get ready. For the first time since 2012, Sydneysiders will get the chance to see a full solar eclipse with their very own eyes. And that’s just the beginning. 

On April 20, 2023, Australians will be treated to an awe-inspiring view of a total solar eclipse, the likes of which we haven’t seen Down Under in over a decade. A total solar eclipse is when the moon travels directly over the sun, blocking out the big star’s brazen light and throwing a shadow across the surface of the Earth. In science speak, this shadow is called the ‘Umbra’, and the area beneath the shadow is rather dramatically named the ‘Path of Totality’. 

It is the land within the ‘Path of Totality’ that all lucky human beans will get the chance to see the full expanse of this terrifyingly beautiful phenomena with their own eyes. Unfortunately, this time around, only people in Exmouth, Western Australia, will get to see the sun disappear completely behind a black hole, stars and planets become visible, and the sun’s burning white outer ‘corona’ come into terrifying focus for a full three minutes. Gasp!  

For everyone who lives north of Exmouth (which is quite a lot of us), the eclipse won’t be quite as dramatic – but we will still get to see it. The sun will disappear above Sydney at 1.36pm on April 20, while Melburnians should look up at 1.15pm for a solar show. 

But wait Sydney, there's more.

It turns out that right now, Australians are on track to witness five solar eclipses over the next 15 years. This is due to the fact that we are currently travelling in an ‘eclipse path’, a rare event that could last be witnessed by those in the Great Southern Land back in 2002. The last time Sydneysiders got to see a total and full solar eclipse was in 1857 (aka: when we were in the Path of Totality), but it now it looks like we will get to see another one from our Harbour City in 2028. This means that (reasonably) soon, city dwellers will get to see the sun drop away above Sydney for the first time in 170 years. 

Prime those alarm clocks, people. 

Like watching the sky? Head to one of Sydney's most stunning stargazing sites, or get up high at one of the city's best lookouts.

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