Solar eclipse ‘awesome’ impresses viewers in Australia and Indonesia

Under a cloudless sky, 20,000 eclipse chasers crowded a tiny outpost to watch a rare solar eclipse plunge part of Australia’s northwest coast into brief midday darkness Thursday while temporarily cooling the tropical heat.

A rare solar eclipse cast a part of Australia’s northwestern coast in darkness for a brief period during the midday hours on Thursday, cooling down the tropical heat.

Exmouth is a remote tourist town in Australia with less than 3,000 inhabitants. It was advertised as the best place to view the eclipse, which also passed over remote areas of Indonesia and East Timor.

A large international crowd had gathered for days. They were camping in tents or trailers, on a dusty, red plain at the edge of town, with cameras and other equipment pointed upward.

NASA astronomer Henry Throop, was one of those cheering loudly at Exmouth in the dark.

It’s incredible! This is amazing. This was amazing. It was bright and sharp. “You could see the corona surrounding the sun,” said the Washington resident, visibly excited.


People wear protective glasses to watch the solar eclipse in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday.


Tatan Syuflana / AP

“It was only one minute, but it felt like an eternity.” You can’t see anything else that looks like it. It was amazing. Spectacular. Then you were able to observe Jupiter and Mercury, and being able to do so at the same moment during the day was pretty rare. “That was awesome,” Throop said.

Julie Copson was a first-time eclipse chaser who traveled over 600 miles to Exmouth from Fremantle, a port city on the west coast of Australia.

“I feel like I’m going to cry. “The color change and seeing the sun flares …,” Copson” said.

She added that the sudden drop in temperature of 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), from 29 degree Celsius (84 degree Fahrenheit), when the shadow of the moon enveloped the area, was “very strong.”

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