Eclipse mania is sweeping the US. Here’s how Australians can watch the celestial event

Key Points
  • Eclipse mania has taken hold of the United States, as millions travel to witness a total solar eclipse.
  • The celestial event will begin in early hours of Tuesday morning for Australians.
  • The next total solar eclipse over Australia will be visible from four states.
It’s the celestial event causing a craze across the United States.
Millions of enthusiastic stargazers are travelling the country, hoping to witness the last total solar eclipse for the next two decades.
Eclipse hysteria has prompted a range of celebrations, with concerts, festivals, and viewing parties to be held all over the US.

Some 300 couples have even timed their weddings to say “I do” as the eclipse takes place, at a mass marriage ceremony in Arkansas.

At least 32 million Americans reside along the eclipse’s route or “path of totality”. It starts in Mexico and stretches across portions of 13 US states, from Texas to Maine.
The event has prompted a surge in accommodation bookings, with Airbnb noting in February that it had seen a 1,000 per cent increase in searches for short-term stays.

The eclipse pathline is also clear on a map showing Airbnb occupancy rates, which have jumped to 100 per cent for the night of 7 April, according to data from airdna.

What is a total solar eclipse?

The moon will completely block the face of the sun, unlike annular or partial eclipses.
NASA explains a solar eclipse occurs when “the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, with the Moon casting its shadow” on Earth.
As the sky gets dark, viewers on the ground catch a glimpse of the sun’s corona (its outer atmosphere), which is otherwise obstructed by the bright sun.

Due to the totality of the sun’s coverage, it is the only time you can directly look at the sun with the naked eye without damaging your retinas.

The dazzling display is only visible from a small portion of the earth and doesn’t always align with densely populated areas, making it a once-in-a-lifetime sight for many.
Some US locations will witness the moon cover the sun for seconds while those best placed will have up to 4 minutes. Viewers outside the path of totality will see a partial solar eclipse.

The event is weather-dependent, with no cloud coverage crucial to its visibility.

How can I watch the total solar eclipse from Australia?

For avid stargazers in Australia, the total solar eclipse can be early on Tuesday morning.

Times will vary depending on what state you’re in:

  • Eclipse begins at 3.23am, reaching totality at 4.40am AEST for those in QLD, NSW, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania.
  • Kicks off at 2.53am, reaching totality at 4.10am ACST for Northern Territory, South Australia, and Broken Hill residents.
  • Starts at 1.23am, reaching totality at 2.40am AWST in Western Australia.

When is Australia’s next total solar eclipse?

Last April,in the Ningaloo region of Western Australia, including the town of Exmouth.
Luckily for Australians, the eclipse was
The next one scheduled has the largest path of totality, crossing over the Kimberley in Western Australia, through the Northern Territory, southwest Queensland, and over Sydney.

Sydneysiders can mark the next eclipse in their calendars, occurring on 22 July 2028.

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