'Ring of fire' eclipse to burn Australia

Tune in from 22:00 GMT May 9th for the non-Johnny-Cash-related cosmic action


Sol and Luna's eternal cosmic dance reaches one of its regular peaks tomorrow, when an annular eclipse will be visible from Australia, Papua New Guinea, and several small Pacific nations.

Annular eclipses are known as “ring of fire” eclipses, because while the sun and moon line up Luna appears smaller than the sun, leaving a bright ring of light visible. That ring is, as is ever the case with eclipses, bright enough to do all sorts of nasty things to un-shielded eyes. So take care, okay?

The eclipse's path will start over remote desert in the Australian State of Western Australia, where the mining town Newman will be the first sizable settlement to see the event. A more substantial town, the Northern Territory's Tenant Creek, is next and will experience 95 per cent eclipse, before the path of the eclipse heads over remote Cape York and then towards the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

Most Australian cities will experience at least partial eclipse, with even Sydney and Melbourne, both thousands of kilometres south of the main path, to experience 27 per cent and 25 per cent eclipses respectively.

NASA's animation of the 2013 annular eclipse

NASA's animation of the path of tomorrow's annular eclipse

The Reg will bring you live video of the eclipse on the day. Timing is a bit tricky, as the event will start on May 10th, Australian time, when it is still May 9th in the UK and USA. The path of the eclipse will take it over the International Date Line, meaning for Australians it will start on the 10th and finish on the 9th.

To make things simple we'll refer to our coverage in GMT and plan to have our story live and streaming on May 9th at around 22:00. ®

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