Photo by Jan Haerer on Unsplash

Thousands of people from across the world have gathered in a remote Western Australian town for a solar eclipse.  

Exmouth, on the North West Cape of Western Australia normally has a population of almost 3,000 people but in the lead up to this astronomical event, it has boomed.  

The eclipse will take three hours to transition through but once the sun is blocked by the moon, totality (the point where the sky will go dark) will last less than a minute.  

Gomeroi Astrophysicist, Krystal de Napoli says the hybrid eclipse, like the one happening in Western Australia, is rare.  

“What we’re getting is moments of an annular eclipse occurring, so where we have that ring around the moon, not completely covered. Then also getting a total solar eclipse. So having that perfect ratio of the moon fully covering the sun. These hybrid eclipses are quite special.” 

While Western Australia and the Northern Territory will have prime views of the event, other parts of Australia will also be able to see partial eclipses. But Ms de Napoli warns not to look at the sun directly but says there are a couple of ways you can watch the action and you might what you need sitting in the kitchen. 

“Get a colander, any strainer you have in the kitchen. During the eclipse, hold it up into the air, aiming for 20 inches off the ground. The higher up in the air you have it, the longer the distance the sun will travel from the colander, through the holes of the colander down to the ground. This will create a large projection of the shadow created by the moon passing in front of the sun. It’s a really cool effect and the longer the distance you have from the colander to the ground, the bigger the picture will look. A pinhole projector is also something you can make, and you can find instructions on how to make them online.” 

To find out what time the solar eclipse is happening in your region, check out the table below from the Astronomical Society of Australia.