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Tuesday, 27 November 2012 11:00

Solar Eclipse from Kakadu National Park

Solar Eclipse
Wednesday 14th November 2012 – Megan Baker

A group of us set off at about 04:30 from Gagudju Lodge Cooinda heading to Ubirr rock in Kakadu National Park.

There was a big hype in the Top End as there was going to be a total Solar Eclipse and we would be able to see it from a narrow strip — known as the path of totality. This is the first total solar eclipse over Australia since 4 December 2002 and it was all starting in our own backyard Kakadu National Park. If you missed out the next solar eclipse will be July 2028!

Eagar to get there and get a good spot, but also driving in the dark, dodging wallabies, buffalo and snakes, we found hundreds of people already there by the time we got there at 05:45.

It was quite an amusing scene on top of the rock, locals and tourist all ready with their zoom lenses cameras, special solar eclipse glasses, homemade pinhole cameras and a few rangers with their welding masks!

There was an electrifying ambience in the air, the crowd was excited as well as nervous as we were at the start of our tropical season and there were fears that cloudy weather would obscure the eclipse

Directly before, I was thinking, are we actually going to be able to see this?

Then all of a sudden the sky went eerily dark and the clouds stared to part and we could see the sun come out from behind the moon seconds after totality. There were a few cheers from the crowd as the sight came into view from the clouds. I had goose bumps knowing that I had just witnessed a solar eclipse!

Seeing a solar eclipse for the first time is an amazing experience. Especially from such a magical place like Ubirr! Knowing it is something not everyone has witnessed, I feel extremely privileged to be living in such a unique area.