About the Total Solar Eclipse in Port Douglas
The Shadow Path
The shadow path of this eclipse starts at sunrise in the Northern Territory, east of Darwin. It then travels across the golf of Carpentaria and across Cape York. The track across Cape York is about 140km wide and extends from Bloomfield to Innisfail with the centre of the path crossing at Oak Beach just south of Port Douglas.
Time & Duration of the Eclipse
The start time of the eclipse in Port Douglas will be 5:44am with the full eclipse commencing at 6:38am and lasting for a little over 2 minutes. The partial eclipse will then continue on until 7:40am.
November is at the end of our dry season so there is a chance of cloud. Onshore breezes may result in cloud build up to the east of the coastal ranges however with the eclipse in the early morning, skies may be clearer and depending on the weather pattern at the time, the sky may be clearer to the west of the coastal ranges.
Where to Watch
Cloose a site with a low eastern horizon as the sun will be low in the eastern sky and you may be able to see the shadow receding after the eclipse. The lookout on Flagstaff Hill or Four Mile Beach will be ideal vantage points. There will be a very high tide that morning however this won't be until just after 9am so there will be some beach available.
Be warned that it is dangerous to look directly at the sun without suitable eye protection. Doing so will cause irreparable damage to the eye. If you can see any part of the sun's surface, it will cause eye damage. Only when the sun's surface is completely covered during the total phase of the total solar eclipse is it safe to look at the eclipse without eye protection. Safe solar filters can be used to view the partial phasses providing they have been manufactured especially for that purpose and have been appropriately cerrtified. It is NOT SAFE to use anything else, including stacked sunglasses, exposed film or similar items.
About the Date - 13th or 14th November?
You will note when searching the internet for the 2012 Eclipse that most references will feature the date as being the 13th of November. This is Universal Time. In Universal time, the total eclipse starts in Northern Australia at 20:35:08 UT on November 13 (November 14 Australian Time), and ends in the South Pacific off South America at 23:48:24 UT on November 13. The maximum eclipse is at 22:11:48 UT on November 13, when the total phase will last just over 4 minutes.