Someone at work was talking about the 2012 total solar eclipse, which will be visible from Cairns in northern Queensland. Of course eclipse enthusiasts are already planning their trips, and Cairns has a tourism site devoted to it. I said it would be cool to go see it, but organising a trip is such a hassle, especially when the place will be crammed with thousands of people going there at exactly the same time for the same reason. (In fact, we’ll see a roughly 65% partial eclipse from here in Sydney, so that’ll be moderately cool.)

Then someone said we could just wait until 2028

The total solar eclipse of 22 July, 2028 will be visible from Sydney. Not just as a partial eclipse either – the path of totality crosses the city. And not just scrapes across an edge of the city – the path of totality completely covers the entire city. Check NASA’s page which has a Google map with the path of totality marked on it, and zoom into Sydney. Yeah, keep zooming in.

Everywhere from Wyong to Wollongong will see totality. The centre of the path of totality passes less than 5km from my house! It passes within a few hundred metres of the astronomy department of the University of Sydney, where I studied astronomy! It passes right over one of my favourite restaurants!

I’m sure I’ve heard of this eclipse before, but previously it was always “too far in the future” to really think about, and I’d never had such a detailed look at the eclipse track before. I’m stunned. Only 18 years before the world will fall all over itself to come to Sydney and the entire city will experience over 4 minutes of eclipse totality. Suddenly it doesn’t seem all that far away.

I can’t wait.


6 Responses to “Eclipse!”

  1. Mr Teufel says:

    What time of day will it be crossing Sydney?

  2. 2pm. And it’s a Saturday.

    (Edited from 5pm – I crit failed my conversion from UTC.)

  3. Glen says:

    The centre passes 520 m from my house… if I click “large map” (which is nearly twice as big as the little map that comes up at first) and zoom in enough I can see my house number on the map, and the red line at the same time.

  4. David B says:

    There was a total solar eclipse in Melbourne on 1976-10-23.

    I was 15 at the time, and had been looking forward to this for several years, after my interest in space was awakened by the Apollo missions. Unfortunately my family moved interstate the year before, so I missed it.

    Looks like eastern Australia will be particularly blessed with total solar eclipses from 2026, with three more before the end of 2038 –

  5. Your Name Here says:

    After eyeballing it, it looks like the centre of totality will pass 2 km away from my house.

    Of course, I’m moving in 5-6 years (hopefully), so this’ll be different then.

    Can’t wait! I need a timer or something…

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