The first and only total solar eclipse of 2012 (a “ring of fire” annular eclipse was seen over Japan in May) cast its shadow over South Pacific Ocean crossing northern Australia soon after sunrise (local time) on 14 November (the actual start of the eclipse was over the Cape York peninsula was on 13 November at 2037 GMT). While those on the main track saw the total eclipse effect illuminating the corona, a partial eclipse, with a “bite” being taken out of the sun, was visible other parts of Australia and New Zealand, and South America.
The eclipse lasting around two minutes was seen as the clouds parted just in time by locals and “eclipse chasers” – those travellers who travel the world to see them. Most of the local hotels had been booked out. Observers took the precaution of only observiting using special filters and eclipse sun glasses before and after the brief period of totality when the sun is only safe to observe without such filters. In astrology, solar eclipses have been thought to be a portent of major political change or a military event.