View Full Version here: : Upcoming Event: Total Solar Eclipse, 13th-14th Nov 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide
25-02-2010, 11:29 AM
I've written an article previewing the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on November 13th-14th, 2012.
The Total Solar Eclipse tracks a narrow path starting in Arnhem Land at dawn on the 14th November where totality lasts 1min 40sec. It crosses the Gulf of Carpentaria and heads towards Cairns, passing on the coast between Cairns and Port Douglas at 6:39am local time (AEST) where totality will last 2 minutes and 4 seconds with the Sun approximately 14deg above the horizon.
The path of totality then crosses the Pacific, passing just north of New Zealand and finishing just before it hits South America.
The partial eclipse phase will be seen by most of Australia and all of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The further North and East you are, the greater the partial eclipse will be.
The article details important information such as:
What is a Solar Eclipse?
When and where can I see it?
Safe Viewing Guide
Upcoming Solar Eclipses
References, Further Reading and Resources
You can find the article on the IceInSpace Projects and Articles (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/projects.html) page, or directly by clicking on the link below:
Total Solar Eclipse, 13th-14th November 2012 - Observing / Imaging Guide (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-371-0-0-1-0.html)
Are you going to see the eclipse?
Share your experiences with us here!
25-02-2010, 12:04 PM
25-02-2010, 12:33 PM
25-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Thanks Mike. Definitely going. Just paid the deposit to joint a tour through the Sutherland group. My second eclipse...with fingers crossed.
25-02-2010, 04:41 PM
Accommodation is booked! My first total solar eclipse! I just wanta look!:help:
26-02-2010, 08:31 AM
Booked my accomodation a few weeks ago. Looking forward to it, but I hope it's not right in the middle of exam time.
26-02-2010, 06:19 PM
I booked my accommodation yesterday. The lady said "as its a long time off, we'll email you to remind you about your booking". I assured her that none of the astronomy obsessives booking accommodation for the eclipse have any remote chance of forgetting, but will rather be salivating for the 2 years and 9 months until the big day. She'd only had the place for three weeks. I think she has no idea of what is about to hit.
26-02-2010, 08:23 PM
i live and work on green island 28km off the coast of cairns and am eagerly awaiting this event.. we check the suns postion and elevation on the 14th nov last year, and have excellent uninterupted views from the back of the island..... can't wait.
01-03-2010, 01:18 PM
BTW, anyone organises this, or we are on our own??
In my time we (club, association) would organize trip and accommodation to whoever wanted to participate in events such is this (well, this was not in Australia, though)..
OK, accommodation tentatively booked :-)
Hope to see you there :-)
03-03-2010, 01:40 PM
I'm certainly interested in making the trip. Was fortunate enough to see the 2002 eclipse in my home state.
Looking to go on a tour so I will keep an eye out. I have noticed quite a few "expensive" tours, which last a number of days. At this stage, I'm not really interested in those. The tour I went on in 2002 was simply a dedicated tour for the eclipse. Hoping to do something similar but am aware that these might be hard to find.
03-03-2010, 01:44 PM
wasnt Glengarry was it?;)
10-03-2010, 01:11 AM
Great article Mike. Very well written and all very useful information.
I have written an information sheet on the eclipse for the Astronomical Association of Queensland (AAQ). It is downloadable as a pdf from the AAQ website www.aaq.org.au (http://www.aaq.org.au) Click on the image on the right hand side at the top of the home page. It is more for the general public but gives details of the path, timings etc and other usful stuff. It is planned to expand it with more information and details as the time of the eclipse approaches.
I spent two weeks in the eclipse path last November checking on such things as possible observing sites, access conditions (including all trafficable roads in the area from the east coast right through to the inland cattle stations and the indigenous communities on the west coast), weather patterns across the cape etc. and took lots of pickies.
I will be giving a presentation at NACAA in Canberra at Easter on the eclipse talking about the circumstances of the eclipse and info I gathered from the trip last year. It is on Sunday at 10:00 AM. For details of the talk see http://www.nacaa.org.au/2010/talks/116
10-03-2010, 10:00 AM
29-03-2010, 07:21 PM
Anyone know if the eclipse will be visible from the Cairns Esplanade? I seem to remember a high mountain just across the inlet that could block the view?
29-03-2010, 11:07 PM
it seems cheaper to travel via train... and you can keep your scope and other equipment at your side... and you can't crash into the ocean!!
30-03-2010, 08:18 AM
Jetstar and Virgin have flights around $180 one way from Melbourne, even cheaper on discounted days. Train travel would cost in the thousands...
Not sure Rob, hopefully the Cairns guys can confirm. You would think that sunrise would be over the ocean but depending where you are on the Esplanade. :sunny:
30-03-2010, 07:12 PM
The best views are from the Northern Beaches and Port Douglas...
Looks like I will booking Palm Cove...
Am sure IIS guys are scattered everywhere :thumbsup: I am up at Mt Carbine caravan park with members from Townsville :)
Good to see the Townsville club will be making the trip north.
We're taking our chances on the northern beaches and made a booking for there some
We've been to Carins and the surrounds many times in the past but only as late
in the year as early October. Certainly a common pattern I recollect up in
the Athertons is that it can be cloudy/foggy in the morning as it hangs over the
rainforest and I gather the hope is that is that if there is cloud that it is sufficiently
low on the mountains so that when you look across them from Mt Carbine that it
won't get in the way?
One of our Cairns forum members might be able to advise what tends to happen
at that locale at that time of year in the morning when looking Easterly.
I think we would have all been happier if this was taking place in June/July
and least we could have gone for a swim. :lol:
02-04-2010, 11:58 PM
See you there. :)
06-04-2010, 06:36 PM
On my trip to the eclipse path last November, I took the first attached image from the Cairns esplanade (16d 54m 55s S, 145d 46m 25s E) in the direction of the sun at eclipse time. The sun will definitely rise over the Cape and the partial phase of the eclipse will have started by the time the sun rises over the hill. At first contact (start of the partial phase) the sun will be at about one and a half degrees elevation and about 14 degrees at totality. The hills are of the order of 4 or 5 degrees depending where on the esplanade you are.
In contrast the second image is from Palm Cove beach just opposite the council caravan park (16d 44m 25s S, 145d 40m 18s E) . This image is taken at the time of first contact on 14 November (2009 not 2012 - but the sun's position will be almost exactly the same). You can see that the Cape is to the right. You need to be on the northern beaches to avoid the cape if you want to see the eclipse from first contact.
You can also see that the sky is clear except for a band of cloud just in the wrong position. This cloud was present most mornings at this time and appeared to be over the reef, I guess because of the increased moisture in the atmosphere with waves breaking over the reef. As the air warmed over the next hour it generally disappeared, but the damage at C1 would have been done!
06-04-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the details Terry:) I am booked for the northern beaches.
Liz...would'nt mind visiting Mt Carbine but I have already booked elsewhere...
Glad ya booked in Rob, but as Gary says, wish it was June/July.
We will have to tally up the number of IISers going, later on to the event, sounds quite a few.
07-04-2010, 07:23 PM
Liz, I am also planning to drive south through to Townsville..Anything in particular you recommend to visit...I have been north of Cairns before, but not south.
07-04-2010, 08:45 PM
IIS Eclipse Tee Shirt?
To encourage all IISers to say hello.
Northern Beaches for us too.
07-04-2010, 08:59 PM
I'll get some designs done and get the community to vote on their favourite.
11-04-2010, 05:16 PM
I'm in Mareeba, so its a toss up between east or west of the Great Divide ?
12-04-2010, 09:58 PM
what about with customised back with our username on it??
yeah... that would be sweet
Enjoyed looking at your weather web cams.
As you look over the Divide from Mareeba early in the morning in mid November,
if the day is forecast to be fine, are your views east and south-east generally clear
or does cloud sit on the mountains in the morning until it warms up?
Any other anecdotal advice you can share on what the weather tends to do up there at
that time of the year early in the morning I know would be appreciated by readers.
13-04-2010, 02:33 PM
Anyone from the SunShine Coast planning to go:question:
I haven't seen or heard much from this neck of the woods:shrug:
Would you be interested in a group thing:question:
19-05-2010, 09:06 AM
I'm now retired and living on Cairns northern beaches, so bring it on 2012!
But I vividly recall the TSE on 23 October 1976 when a group of fellow amateur (ham) radio enthusiasts drove down from Sydney to Bombala, only to find thousands of people and total cloud cover. We made a hasty decision to drive to the coast (a long windy dirt road) and, with minutes to spare, set up observations on a high point near Pambula overlooking the sea. We had a portable television which picked up a Victorian channel and we could see the eclipse on TV just before it happened at Pambula. Then actually seeing the shadow move quickly out across the ocean was fantastic ...
For 2012, my advice would be to get yourself up high where you can see the sea and the shadow, e.g. the roadside lookout about halfway up the highway to Kuranda. There are plenty of other high places with a view to the east.
I'm concerned about cloud cover though - after all, this is the tropics and it will be November. I plan to be in a light plane up around 9,500 feet, so even if there is lower level cloud, the shadow will be visible on the cloud. And it'll probably have to be planned as a night flight!
19-05-2010, 10:40 AM
Captain Charlie wrote:
"... For 2012, my advice would be to get yourself up high where you can see the sea and the shadow, e.g. the roadside lookout about halfway up the highway to Kuranda."
A note of caution about the lookouts on the roads up the coastal range. There are not many, most have their view to where the sun will be low down at eclipse time obscured by trees and parking for only a very small number of cars. So if you want to do that choose wisely (e.g. check out the suns position the day before) and get there early to reserve your spot. IMO a view of the receeding shadow is definitely worth seeking out.
I had a similar experience in 1976 - a drive down the same dirt road to see the eclipse from near Wyndham on the road to Pambula. I was surprised at how so many people decided to stay put and missed the show.
28-05-2010, 02:45 PM
I definitely want to come up from melb, haven't ever been to cairns or seen an eclipse.. planning to book flights and accommodation soon, will have 2 years to fill in the details. :)
Planning to make up some solar caps for my binocs. Maybe hire a scooter while there so i can zoom around if need be.
15-07-2010, 06:55 AM
Greetings from Ukraine!
Many thanks to Terry (AstroTourist) for his photos - now it is clearly visible what it would be looking like in 2012. :)
I was monitoring different sources of satellite imagery of eclipse path, and I see that outback areas almost completely guarantee fine weather in November, and in many cases even Cairns city would be enough good.
So I'm delighted with the circumstances and will do my best to get there from Europe! (not only eclipse, this might be the only chance for me to see the southern sky and to meet australian astronomers). :)
But as a beginner in solar eclipse chasing (no totals, 3 partials), I have many reasons to be afraid of unsuccessful trip. First of all, I have much doubt on whether there be any available accomodation in the area? :question: Can you guys please tell me what reasonable time should be kept in advance for booking accomodation? Is it possible if one can experience absolutely no places if booking within 3-4 months before the event? Maybe you have something to recommend?
Thanks for the post and greetings to you there in the Ukraine.
Unfortunately with regards the possibility of the weather being fine in that
part of the world in November, unfortunately the opposite is true.
Cairns sits between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn and it
experiences tropical weather patterns. The period of November to May
sees high rainfall, high temperatures and high chance of cloud coverage.
The hinterlands and to the north of Cairns are tropical rainforests or what
were tropical rainforests and have subsequently been cleared for farming.
Tropical cyclones (hurricanes) at that time of the year are also not uncommon.
Though the interior tends to be drier, the weather systems are sometimes vast and
extend across the entire Cape. To give you some idea, here is the track
of Tropical Cyclone Larry that made its way across in March 2006.
It was a Category 4 cyclone with winds up to 240 km/h and caused half a billion
dollars worth of damage.
Even when the weather is generally sunny, it is not uncommon to encounter local
small showers over reef atolls or up in the Atherton Tablelands or in the
rainforests of Cape Tribulation and Daintree.
The interior can be drier (it is not desert without reason) but there are very few
interior locations where the roads (some of which are just rough 4WD
dirt tracks) run north-south that intercept the eclipse path and one of them is
subject to a long running dispute by the land owners that would be best avoided.
In fact, should there be rain, some of the roads in the far interior which are
just dirt tracks turn to mud and become impassable even in a 4WD.
The roads in and around Cairns itself are sealed and passable in all but the
most severe weather conditions.
Like all eclipses, the general mindset is that if we get lucky with the weather,
we might see it, but if you asked me might we have a cyclone on the day,
I would not bet against it. :)
One of the disappointing things about Cairns at that time of the year is that it
can be very hot, very humid and there is this beautiful Pacific Ocean to swim in,
but even that is not recommended as there is a chance of being stung by
a deadly marine stinger at that time of the year.
So please come on down, we would love to see you down here. We will be there!
But if we see the eclipse, we are all considering it as a bonus. :thumbsup:
Cairns itself has an abundance of accommodation ranging from parks where
you can pitch a tent, to budget hostels for backpackers to motel accommodation
to luxury multi-star resort hotels. Depending upon your budget, you should have
little difficulty finding somewhere to stay. Cairns is first and foremost
a tourist destination and is a major setting off point to the Great Barrier Reef.
Normally, November would be regarded as "off-season" because the weather can
be bad, and you can't go for a swim in the ocean. I would be surprised if you
still could not find somewhere 3 to 4 months out as it is a big place with
a lot of rooms.
Google "Cairns northern beaches accommodation" for something more comfortable.
Google "Cairns backpacker accommodation" for budget rooms, some of which
might smell like a wet dog and have a party going on all night in the next room
but that can be cheap. :) However, read the reviews as some of them are quite good
and offer reasonable value and are a good opportunity to meet other travelers.
15-07-2010, 11:30 PM
Thank you Gary for the detailed answer! :)
After a study of weather I have an opinion that it is very similar to what we have here in Ukraine in July. Well, without active tropical cyclons, maybe sometimes hotter, sometimes more/less cloudy, but in general it is similar. And to your knowledge, July-August is astronomical hi-season here, so I won't be disappointed any way if would visit Queensland in November. :rolleyes:
The weather isn't actually the biggest problem. For me, the top 3 things to be careful about are: 1) have no problems acquiring visa; 2) have no problems with booking accomodation; 3) be in time for each of 3 consequtive airflights!
20-07-2010, 04:41 PM
Gary paints a pretty grim picture for the weather prospects for the eclipse in North Queensland in 2012. Personally I would not be quite so pessamistic.
In the Cairns region, November is generally thought of as being the buildup to the wet season rather than full on wet. And tropical cyclones are very rare as early in the season as November. And it certainly is more cloud free (on average) the further west behind the ranges you go. With the winds being predominently from the south east moisture is dumped on the coastal ranges and Great Dividing range so that the air to the west is typically drier. But as Gary says, sometimes the weather system are so large as to be inescapable.
A good guide to the climatology can be found on Jay Anderson's eclipse weather site:
The cloud statistics chart puts the average November daytime cloud at between 40% and 50%. But bear in mind that these figures are daily averages and the eclipse is at about 6:30 AM when the sky is consistently clearer so a lower percent is appropriate.
As one example, when I was in the eclipse path for the week either side of 14 November last year, the eclipse would have been visible at 6:30 AM on 8 out of the 10 days that I was observing.
But bear in mind that these are average circumstances and what happens on the day can be different. As they say - climate is what you expect - weather is what you get.
There is benefit in being flexible to relocate further inland if the coast weather looks dodgy, but movement significantly west is restricted without a suitable vehicle.
10-08-2010, 12:12 PM
Its going to be one of those things that will be decided from midnight that day, for me stay in Mareeba or travel north on the inland road.
If anyone requires any information, let me know.
13-08-2010, 09:41 PM
Will be doing the long haul from Karratha by road, taking 6 weeks off to tour around while over that way.
Can anyone tell me if Palmer, which is the path of totality, would be a suitable spot?
16-08-2010, 05:25 PM
Sounds like quite a trip you are planning there.
As to "Palmer" can you please be more specific as to the location..
I guess you mean in the vicinity of Palmerville station which is located near where the Palmerville track crosses the Palmer River;
Or do you mean at the Palmer gold fields which is further east;
or the Palmer River Roadhouse where the Peninsula development road (route 81) crosses the Palmer river;
Or somewhere on the Palmer river;
or somewhere else?
If you are considering the Palmerville Track just south of the Palmer River
near Palmerville Station, I would recommend considering another location.
I did some extensive searches and reading last year and there is a long
history of legal problems and disputes concerning right of way there.
The owners of the station have had problems over the years that prompted them
to put a gate across the track. Gold mining prospectors and those with access to gold
leases have apparently at times left water holes used by cattle polluted with rubbish,
cattle grasslands have been set on fire by prospectors to help make gold
detection easier, there have been attempts of mediation with Council to open
the road, land court cases over access to gold mine leases and so on.
So to avoid disappointment, I would not recommend setting off there
as one may be turned back.
The track is 4WD only and after rain is sometimes impassable.
19-08-2010, 09:34 AM
Actually the Palmerville Track itself is not closed - I drove through there last November. But you do have to be careful approaching Palmerville Station to take the correct version of the track and not end up at Palmerville station. There are several signs warning against driving on Palmerville Station.
The track which IS currently closed is the one from the Palmerville track to the old Palmerville goldfields at Maytown. As Gary says there is a long running dispute. That track crosses Palmerville Station and the owner apparently doesn't want visitors. I understand that the main reason is the fires that people start from escaped campfires and deliberate burns. Typically an astounding 40% of Cape York burns every year (due especially to visitors and lightening strikes). Last year it was a particularly nasty year and it was closer to 60%. Once fires start in that area it is impossible to stop them. In travelling the area of the eclipse track last year I came across a lot of area that had been burnt out and in some places fires still burning. Cattle Stations can be completely wiped out. Killarney station for example last year appeared devestated. I have a great deal of sympathy with property owners not wanting visitors. You will find many signs on properties prohibiting camping. If you do want to camp or stop on station property it is essential that you call in at the station and speak to property management first. In many cases you will find the owners approachable. Unfortunately the managers of Palmerville station were away when I went through and I was not able to speak to them personally about what their atitude at eclipse time might be.
But back to viewing prospects in the vicinity of the Palmerville track. As Gary says the track is 4WD only and is impassible in the wet. Attached is an image of one of the gully crossings on the track. There are several of these as well as the crossing of the Palmerville river and they would quickly become impassible. The road surface would also become slippery and dangerous for a conventional vehicle. This area is real outback. DO NOT go there unless you are experienced and have a suitable equipped vehicle with appropriate emergency supplies and equipment.
But the real problem on the track is finding a suitable viewing outlook to see the sun at the low altitude at 6:30AM. The track runs roughly north south and there are trees on both sides for almost the full length of the road. Also the area is surprisingly hilly. It is still the western edge of the Great Dividing Range. Finding a clear spot for viewing will be quite difficult. About the only places are at the Cattle Stations and at their airstrips. There is an airstrip adjacent Palmerville station, very close to the centreline which may be suitable for viewing but as I said above I was not able to speak to the owner about use of it and they may disallow it.
The other two stations on the track, Mount Mulgrave to the south and Fairlight to the north also have airstrips which are open areas which could provide a view. But they are some way from the centreline (but still get more than one and a half minutes of totality). The people managing Fairlight that I spoke to seemed quite approachable and interrested in the eclipse. Fairlight has an outstation near Palmerville station and this may be another option.
And a note of caution if you are considering the track that runs from the Peninsula Development road near Maitland Downs station to Palmerville station. On the map it appears quite attractive as it runs roughly along the eclipse track centreline. But this is the track that is closed past Maytown. Also the proposed 4 day 2012 Eclipse Festival (see http://www.solareclipse2012.com/) is currently planned for a site along this track and it will likely be very busy at eclipse time. They are hoping to attract about 10,000 people!!
So to sum up about eclipse viewing on the Palmerville Track... Quite difficult and not as straightforward at it may seem. Challenges will include finding a suitable viewing location, obtaining property management consent to be there, and just simply getting there by having a suitably equipped vehicle and the weather cooperating. If after all this you are still considering a viewing location here I would strongly suggest scouting it out in the days before the eclipse. IMO it would be foolish to just simply head out there the day before the eclipse leaving this to be your only option.
:) ok im all confused on where abouts i should go :screwy:
Where are most of the IIS'er going to be :question:
Thats where i would like to be where most of us are now that would be great :thumbsup:
Hi Jen :hi: ..... I think quite a few are scattered around by the sounds.
I am up at Mt Carbine Caravan park, where I know a couple of IISers are, but the cabins are booked out there.
There are lots of little accomodation places, but not sure where others have booked into.
We will have to all meet up for an IIS Solar Eclipse party the day of the eclipse, which is pre dawn .... yaaaawn.
Perhaps all meet ..... dont know Cairns well, but perhaps one of the beaches just north or south, depending on the weather.
:hi: hey gday Liz
Yeah it does look like people are all over the place i was just trying to snug up to where the majority of us would be i would so love to meet so many of you ;) Where is Mt Carbine :question:
So is Cairns the hot spot :question:
19-10-2010, 01:58 PM
I don't post very often, as you can see by my post count; but seeing the reopening of this thread yesterday got me kick started to make sure I give myself a chance to see this eclipse. So I got onto the web and booked myself and family a holiday in Cairns from 11-19 Nov 2012.
The first resort I tried was already booked out for some of that time and I thought I might have missed out as eclipse chasers have been known to book out regions well in advance; but the next one I tried took my deposit no problems. So I'm booked:eyepop:
As the time draws closer we'll undoubtedly be talking about it in some detail - and I hope to meet you there:D
19-10-2010, 06:44 PM
Just as an interesting aside - the same part of the world but a little further north will be in the path of an Annular Solar Eclispe the following May. Cooktown is the closest large centre, just south of the area.
Yes Andrew, it will be fabulous if clear. :help:
Your family will have a great time, it is a bful part of the world, despite the weather.
Oh, just saw your Cooktown post - Cooktown is a looong way from Cairns, :)but great for those living up there.
Yes, the eclipse does cover a fair size area, pick and choose. :D
21-10-2010, 09:38 AM
Yes it will be a great part of the world to be in even if its not clear; and if it is clear then there is the eclipse as well. I'm also a birdwatcher and I'm sure to bag quite a number of species I can't get in nsw.
Apart from a cyclone - and even that could be exciting if I survive - :lol: -I think I'm assured a great time.
22-10-2010, 10:45 PM
[/URL]I've started a project thread in the computers forum related to the eclipse:
[URL="http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=67327"]2012 Eclipse Weather Project: capture forecast and satellite images through Nov 2010 (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=67327)
If anybody thinks they can help setup a routine to capture satellite images and forecast charts throughout this November for comparison please visit the thread.
12-11-2010, 01:17 PM
I am currently in the Cairns, Port Douglas, Tablelands, Mulligan Highway area of the eclipse track researching observing locations, weather, accom options, access etc.
I expect to be here until the 17th.
Any requests for info on specific sites, images of locations etc?
Reply here or PM.
12-11-2010, 01:26 PM
Yes please Terry - elevated sites near Mt Carbine? And clear of trees to the East.
12-11-2010, 01:33 PM
No worries Eric, it is already on the list. Expect to be in that area in 2 - 3 days time
On behalf of all of us, thanks for the offer.
Weather-wise, with the SOI being so high at the moment, there are those
of us that are hoping that come 2012, the weather might be less unsettled
than it is now.
Anecdotally though, have you had the opportunity to watch what happens
from a location immediately west of the Athertons very early in the morning?
Is there any cloud hovering low over them due to micro-climate conditions?
Collectively we are interested in hearing what else you learn on the trip
and for some, knowing definitely where you don't want to be can be as
valuable as tips on where one might be luckiest.
14-11-2010, 07:43 AM
Hopefully the same in 2 years
14-11-2010, 07:49 AM
this is the view from Cairns
Thanks for the posts and hopefully so! :thumbsup:
Great set-up with your wecams there in Marreeba and it must be a useful resource
for others in your area.
I just had a look at your webcam 3 again now at 11:36 Qld time and I see the
cloud coverage has increased.
In the webcam in Cairns, it certainly looked touch and go with the cloud banks
I gather on the evening before you will be in a good position as to whether to
stay put or to head toward somewhere like Julatten or out in the direction of
Mt Carbine and Maitland Downs?
A heads-up on those who might think about getting in or out of Port Douglas
on the morning of Nov 14th 2012.
A marathon has been planned which kicks off at eclipse time and is expected to
attract 2000 runners and 700 support crew -
Note carefully the map of the run at the bottom of the page which is to start the moment the
sun starts to re-emerge.
Those familiar with the area will be aware that movement on the roads around Port
Douglas can sometimes be slow at the best of times, but it might not be unrealistic to
anticipate such phenomena as officials wearing safety vests and bearing witches hats,
which they may decide to inconveniently place between you and where you might want
to go on the morning, should you need to be mobile.
15-11-2010, 05:56 AM
If the eclipse was today (14 Nov), it would have been seen at Julatten, not seen at Mt Molloy and Maryfarms but visible at Mt Carbine. I drove through Julatten at 6:38 and saw the sun through thin cloud. There was cloud above me which was moist air moving in from the sea that was banked up against the ranges. As I drove through Mt Molloy the sun was obscured by those clouds and it did not reappear above the clouds over the range (Mt Lewis) until after I had passed Maryfarms. The sun was clear of the thick cloud but still in thin cloud by the time I arrived at Mt Carbine. It is clear that the coastal ranges have a significant cloud forming effect in this area and at least on this occasion Mt Carbine was far enough west.
I know from others that the sun was apparently visible at eclipse time from about Oak Beach south including Cairns but there was a thick cloud to the east from about Port Douglas north. So Port Douglas would probably have missed out. I do not personally know of any Tablelands observations today.
I will post a complete summary of my weather observations for the week when I return to Bris.
17-11-2010, 01:05 PM
Great..whose brainiac idea was that?
17-11-2010, 11:07 PM
The eclipse marathon is just one of the things we will have to be aware of and take into account in our planning.
But hopefully it will have minimal impact on eclipse observing. It is planned to start at C3, so any road closures should only need to occur well after any serious eclipse observer is well in place and set up. I think that if you are planning to watch the eclipse in that area, and are considering relocating within 15 minutes of the eclipse, as Gary suggests the general congestion in the area greatly accentuated by eclipse traffic will make that very difficult if not impossible whether there is a marathon or not.
The marathon then moves quickly away from the traffic areas and road closures will likely be removed within say half an hour.
The race returns to Port Douglas towards the end of the two hour plus event so again is not likely to have any serious impact. I understand that they have found a way to cross the Captain Cook highway on the way back without closing it.
Personnally I think that if another few thousand people get to experience a total eclipse only because they are there for another reason, then that's fantastic. The more the merrier.
29-11-2010, 07:00 PM
I was in the path of the 2012 total solar eclipse for a few days either side of 14 November this year (10th to 17th). Observations of the weather from about sunrise at 0535, until eclipse time of 0638 were mildly encouraging. These observations were from the coastal areas (on 4 days) and from the coast to just west of the ranges (on 3 days).
For observations over the 7 mornings, visibility at eclipse time was broadly as follows:
1 day generally clear skies but with patchy cloud in some areas (probability of seeing eclipse say 85%)
4 days mostly visible through thin clouds but some areas in cloud (say 65%)
1 day much of the area cloudy but some areas with breaks (say 40%)
1 day only a few lucky ones would have seen the eclipse (say 10%)
Average say about 50 - 60%
Chance of seeing the eclipse would have been improved by some judicious relocation.
Some weather patterns that were observed:
The weather was certainly more humid than the same time last year. Last year in the eclipse path, I experienced about 8 out of 10 days as good days. Last year there were several days of clear sunny weather. This year there were none. When it was clearer this year, there was usually thin high cloud present that would have reduced the view of the corona a little.
The weather along the coast often started at pre dawn with cloud generally off shore and quite thick but typically no higher than about 8 degrees (sun at eclipse will be at 14 degrees), and little cloud overhead. The cloud generally broke up after dawn with the cloud moving towards shore. A low bank of cloud often remained and the sun was above this bank usually by between about 0600 and 0630. Cloud cover generally increased across the sky after eclipse time as the day started to warm.
There were often local weather disturbances. On two mornings there was quite thick local cloud over the capeGrafton headland such that Cairns and the southern areas of the Cairns northern beaches would have been seriously affected. On the next two mornings the Cairns area was clearer and there was thick cloud (and rain) in the Port Douglas area. On a later morning, cloud returned to the CapeGrafton area.
On perhaps half of the mornings there was some cloud up against the coastal ranges at dawn, but typically well away from the area of the sun when viewing from a beach location. This did not appear to change greatly up until eclipse time. On three mornings I drove from the coast at sunrise over the ranges (on each of the three separate routes). What I observed when there was cloud up against the coastal ranges, was that in the Atherton area (which is generally quite high at about 800m elevation) the cloud appeared to extend further to the west (beyond Atherton); whereas around Mareeba and further north (which is generally lower elevation at around 400m) as the wind descended from the coastal ranges, the cloud appeared to dissipate more quickly. On the morning I that traveled on the Mulligan highway west of Mount Molloy, the cloud had dissipated reasonably quickly such that the eclipse would have been seen at Mount Carbine through thin cloud.
These observations are from the east coastal areas. On checking the cloud images for these days, on some days the inland and west coast would have fared better, but there are of course difficulties in escaping very far to the west. One sobering thing is that a colleague of mine who was in the path area for the three days after I left said that it was generally cloudy and rain at times over the whole coastal area for the three days.
Currently we have a La Niña weather pattern established and this year has been the wettest we have experienced in Queensland for many years. There is a reasonable chance that the pattern will have reversed and El Niño will be back by 2012.
I am not suggesting that we can read too much into these observations. This is just one sample (as were my observations last year). And if there is a reversal of La Niña/ El Niño, this year may not be very relevant.
29-11-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks Terry - useful information! :)
29-11-2010, 09:41 PM
wondereful research Terry
30-11-2010, 10:09 AM
I've been looking at other locations. The edge of the eclipse path lies 70km off Norfolk Island, and totality there would last a full minute longer than when it leaves coastal Australia. The downside would be ship-based viewing, not suited particularly well to eclipse photography (so when is a short cruise a downside??? :lol: ). I was on the island from 12-19 Nov and the weather was generally partly cloudy (broken cloud), with a high chance of seeing the morning eclipse. The cloud itself was principally gathering about the island and out to sea the skies were much clearer with a very high chance of seeing the eclipse.
I discussed the coming eclipse with a few locals (who were unaware of it) and they seemed to think it was feasible to get people out there. NB you'd have to carefully vet any ship's crew - bit of a history of mutiny there! :P ATM Norfolk Island is reasonably expensive to get to, but they are currently in the process of untangling their special self-governing status as an Australian territory and accepting a bail-out package from Canberra that will see them become a more 'normal' part of Australia. Locals anticipate that this will enable cut-price airlines like Tiger & Jetstar to enter the market, perhaps by 2012 - Norfolk Is is a lot closer to Melbourne than Cairns.
Anyway, something to think about. Sea-borne north of New Zealand would also be an option - must check because I think there may already be a few things on offer there....
26-12-2010, 02:46 PM
hi all, i am trying to figure out a good place to stay and would like to book as early as i can, so please keep the info flowing. will have to fly from sydney so would prefere airport to land at, ( no parachuting please ):rofl:
Very tricky to decide Spacedout. Do you go to cairns itself, north, south, inland????? Weather could be kind (or unkind) to all of us. :question:
There are a few of us staying at Mt Carbine caravan park, inland a little.
Who knows though?????
27-12-2010, 01:00 PM
Thanks Alien Female,
Mt Carbine sounds good, I have found a decent map @ nasa http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012Nov13Tgoogle.html
hope to see you there, thanks for info
17-01-2011, 04:19 AM
Nice to find some discussion on this eclipse. I was planning a trip to Cairns from the US specifically for this event. But I was very concerned, besides weather, that the sun would not be high enough on the horizon during the eclipse, especially with the western mountains reducing time.
Does anyone know how high the sun will be at 5:45AM-5:47AM (time of eclipse?) I have sunrise noted at 4:50AM so it should crest the hills within 60 minutes for sure.
Thanks you for any advise.
10-02-2011, 09:19 AM
the eclipse will be 37 days before the summer solstice, therefor 37 days after is end of January.
have a look at this webcam for approx height above horizon.
10-02-2011, 10:27 AM
Eclipse will be low on the horizon, only about 15 degrees at totality
, so viewing on the coast or on the range looking east is what you want. Inland, eg Mareeba will have the mountains interfering with totality. I have heard that sea fog is an issue at this time of the year, so Green Island may not be the best spot, although I have every intention of heading there before or after the eclipse for some snorkeling and underwater coral photography.
Port Douglas region will be affected by the marathon. I have emailed them with my concerns, but no reply. I find it a bit of a w@#k that they are just thinking of the novelty of having their marathon starting at the return of the sun from behind the moon. Perhaps more emails should be sent to them to point out their folly and potential for eye damage in the non-astro spectator and competitor ranks.
One of my main issues is that my son is doing the HSC at this time which limits how early we can fly up and get settled in.
08-03-2011, 08:30 AM
Excellent site, with discussion about the weather and possible viewing locations.
Lots of great info.
08-03-2011, 10:40 AM
We are going to stay on the coast for this one. I lived in Cairns for 14 months during 89-90 period. The chances of no cloud at all are slim no matter where you travel. If there is any rain in the days before the eclipse the roads further west will be slippery and present a danger to everyone travelling them.
I have looked back at the conditions over the last 5 years on that particular day and it looked as though 3 days out of 5 were clear with some mild cloud off the coast at that time of the morning. Remembering of course that any cloud build up due to the the presence of the sun is nil at that time of morning so every thing relies on the conditions the day before and over night. Our villa is right on the beach and if nothing else it will be a lovely morning event on the beach.
For those that have never seen an eclipse and want to ensure you do. Might I suggest you take a cruise further along the track. Your chances will be greater of seeing the eclipse. Land based observation is going to be 50/50 overall but a cruise will almost certainly get you a view.
BTW if it is your first eclipse forget about trying to take too many photographs. Watch the eclipse through your eyes. You miss out on so much just by looking through the view finder of the camera. Ensure you look around and experience the little things like the 360 degree sunset, the birds roosting, the look of the corona near maximum and the visible prominences and the magenta sky. Your first eclipse is the one you remember the best and wasting it by trying to get bracketted shots or fiddling with equipment is going to waste precious views. From what I have read from other eclipse chasers and from my own experience it takes 3-4 eclipses to get everything right for imaging. So why not just take the odd shot and not worry. 2 minutes goes really quickly.
Anyway, cloud or not it will once again be magical to be in the shadow of the moon. I have a good feeling again about seeing it, so maybe 3rd time is a charm. For me each time I have had a good feeling and each time we have seen the eclipse. Go figure.:shrug:
Cant wait Paul ... our Astronomy Group are booked in up at Mt Carbine Caravan Park, but I know the chances of it being cloudy are pretty high.
Will still be exciting to witness the darkness descend.
The last one I remember was in victoria in the 70s when I was at school.
09-03-2011, 08:58 PM
Yeah I think that was 1976. I tried to convince my dad to drive me to Mt Gambier but the partial in Adelaide was pretty interesting all the same. Just the barest of slivers, at 0.93 magnitude.
09-03-2011, 09:48 PM
Yep, 1976. Was working in far west NSW and doubt that I would have even heard about it (no radio, TV, newspapers). Trying to make up for it now, LOL, roll on 2012! :lol: 2017 looks good too - continental United States, what a party that would be! Have eclipse-nutter friends in Oregon, not far from the eclipse path. Indonesia March 2016 is a possibility but probably monsoon affected.
13-03-2011, 03:56 PM
Very good suggestions, Paul.
24-03-2011, 09:12 PM
Just returned from a fact finding mission, travelling up from Cairns to Port Douglas.The city foreshore will have a problem with C1 to C2 because the aboriginal reserve will be in direct line with the suns path. (Elevation for C1 2deg above horizon and 108 degrees SE. Totality at 14 deg and 105 degrees S.E could also be a problem. We stayed 1.5km up towards the airport on the 5th floor which should improve things. The Coral towers hotel has posted pics taken on Nov 14th last year and show the sun well clear of the 800m peak, but this may have been taken from the roof. Still plenty of accommodation and a really nice spot.Further up Yorkeys knob and Trinity have excellent horizon views but apartments are expensive with most taking 5-7 day bookings at up to $300 a night! Eclipse week is a double high in the low season.Anyway we booked the big caravan park in the city at only $31 per night and will probably go up to Yorkeys on the 13th. Forget Ellis Beach CP-its full. It was cloudy on the horizon every evening and morning in Cairns so exact visual determination was difficult. We used google earth to calculate distances and angles. I am sure all the northern beaches will have some sort of "celebration" on the lead up days so its going to be pretty congested.
thank you for that great info Philip and Marie. :thumbsup:
27-03-2011, 07:48 PM
good to be kept informed:):):):):):):)
06-04-2011, 08:14 AM
Would it be recommended to avoid staying in and around Port Douglass during the eclipse because of the marathon?
06-04-2011, 08:47 AM
Ok I'm feeling a little better - I had left booking my accommodation until now and I was worried I wouldn't find anything.
I've had to pay a little more no doubt, but I'm booked in now so I'm happy.
Have booked at the Villas at Palm Cove for 3 nights, 13th, 14th and 15th. I'm taking the family so needed a 3 bedroom room, and it's costing us $290/night.
So I'll be there a day early to scope out the best locations to set up. Palm Cove seems to be in a good spot, halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas and pretty much right on the centre line.
Having a look on Google Street View, the Captain Cook Highway runs along the coast but there's very little area to pull over on the side of the road and walk down to the beach.
Perhaps there'll be a view from the Villas - the view to the East doesn't look too bad (http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=The+Villas+Palm+Cove,+Warren+Stre et,+Palm+Cove,+Queensland&aq=3&sll=-16.744561,145.670514&sspn=0.006801,0.011362&ie=UTF8&hq=The+Villas+Palm+Cove,&hnear=Warren+St,+Palm+Cove+Queensla nd+4879&ll=-16.74566,145.664034&spn=0.011835,0.045447&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=-16.745629,145.664028&panoid=4nl6d-AJ3cnCJHXMCDfVfA&cbp=11,109.08,,0,-3.59), but it will depend on trees etc as the Eclipse will be down low.
It looks like a really good spot down here on the Esplanade (http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=The+Villas+Palm+Cove,+Warren+Stre et,+Palm+Cove,+Queensland&aq=3&sll=-16.744561,145.670514&sspn=0.006801,0.011362&ie=UTF8&hq=The+Villas+Palm+Cove,&hnear=Warren+St,+Palm+Cove+Queensla nd+4879&ll=-16.740183,145.671372&spn=0.011836,0.045447&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=-16.740213,145.671384&panoid=hHKHjZTXUg3bREdVfxmJfQ&cbp=11,63.49,,0,0.17) with parking and right on the beach, but I hope the Eclipse doesn't rise right behind that island, Double Island.
Does anyone know?
Now to figure out flights to get my family and my gear there, and organise car hire for when we're there.
06-04-2011, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the article, iceman. I'm trying to get the whole family to make the trip. :)
06-04-2011, 10:44 AM
At least you don't have too far to go :)
06-04-2011, 10:49 AM
:) Yeah, was considering making the drive instead of flying... but we'll see. My parents and brother are in Bris-Vegas, so they can fly to Rocky and we could drive up together... but we're Indians and making a decision is always difficult. There always seems to be too many cooks in the kitchen. ;)
07-04-2011, 02:05 AM
Iceman, I live in Palm Cove. What are you trying to find out?
07-04-2011, 05:30 AM
I'm trying to understand whether, if I setup to view/photograph the eclipse down on the esplanade, where abouts the Sun will rise in relation to that island.
Cheers and thanks!
07-04-2011, 08:30 PM
I am staying at the Nimrod Port Douglas Resort Apartments, any IIS member wanting to catch up send me a PM.
08-04-2011, 07:04 AM
Hey Iceman, that's a good question. Remember that, when you're located north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the sun actually reaches its highest position in the sky twice during the year: once on its way to the summer solstice, and then again on its way to the winter solstice ... which could explain why Queenslanders' support for introducing daylight saving is much less if you live and work to the north of the Tropic of Capricorn. But I digress.
In November when the eclipse is predicted, the sun will rise to the south of east, and Double Island is to the north of east when you're on Williams Esplanade, generally speaking. There's a motorised scanning webcam down at the beach on the surf lifesaving hut and you can actually see Double Island during its northerly sweep. Here's some links to that cam (when it's working):
A second webcam across the road on Williams Esplanade gives a fixed view to the east. This time of year the sun rises around 6.15am QLD time:
There's also a jetty at the northern end of Williams Esplanade which is usually used 24/7 by local fishing enthusiasts. It could give you a good vantage point too (away from the beach), but I'm not sure I'd want to be out there with expensive camera gear and lots of jostling crowds looking skywards in twilight.
Just to the north of Palm Cove, to the east of the Captain Cook Highway, is a raised headland called Buchans Point. You might find a spot up there amongst the expensive homes.
Hope this helps.
08-04-2011, 12:12 PM
That's very helpful, thanks Charlie!
Invoke Google Earth.
A sliding time tool bar will appear in the top left corner of the main image window.
Click on its 'Spanner' icon and adjust the date and time. Be aware of the American-style
mm/dd/yy format. Be sure to set an appropriate time zone to match your choice of time setting.
Zoom in on the image pane so your eye altitude is just above sea level.
With mouse over the image page, depress and keep depressed middle mouse button and drag
to change your "look at" direction so you are looking out to sea from your chosen vantage point.
Adjust the sliding time tool bar and watch where the Sun will rise from that location.
11-04-2011, 01:20 PM
Mike I will be just down the road from you as I'm staying with friends at Clifton beach with my partner. :thumbsup:
I'm just grateful to have somewhere to stay at mates rates ;)
I have not made any arrangements yet apart from yeah we are going up there but may book some flights soon!
I'm sure many people from here and the many astronomical societies will be up that way for the eclipse. :thumbsup:
30-04-2011, 02:52 PM
P&O have just released a cruise for the eclipse.
it will be between Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas at the right time.
I booked already, there is heaps of rooms available
If anyone is considering this, keep in touch cause it would be nice to be on the cruise with fellow IIS members
23-06-2011, 07:56 PM
Sorry for continuing off-topic, but you didn't mention Africa in 2013. Gabon is an option with over 1 minute of totality, and Uganda is just around 25-30 seconds. Weather chances are not so fair, but far better than ones Indonesia has. Anyway I'll give it a try if fail to reach Queensland. :question:
:D well i have been thinking over and over about going to this event and then i decided bugger it if i miss this i will so be saying to myself "dam it i wish i went" :D
I have never been on a real holiday before let alone go on a plane so i thought bugger it what a better way to have my first holiday ever to top it of with a solar eclipse :D So yep its official im going :P woohooo
Paid my deposit and confirmed my booking today woohooo im soooo excited :)
Im even lashing out and have booked for 7 nights staying at Palm Cove Reef Retreat 50 meters from the beach in a 2 bedroom villa unit woohoooooooooooooooooooooooo
I so hope i get to meet many IIS members on this trip maybe we can pick a place where we can all meet for dinner the night before or lunch after the eclipse that would be so awsome SEE YOU ALL THERE :D
Is it NOVEMBER 2012 YET :question: :rofl::rofl::rofl:
Oh now i just have to tell the hubby we going on a holiday and he is paying :rolleyes: :lol:
13-08-2011, 06:38 AM
Catch you there
13-08-2011, 07:41 AM
Awesome! I'm at Palm Cove too. See you there!
13-08-2011, 11:11 AM
We are staying with friends up there. I think at Cliffton Beach. There is an another friend up there too that we could stay with just in case the first one falls through.
I reckon shooting frames around the esplanade is not a great idea. The pennisula is your main problem when looking west to south west. The peak is pretty high and cloud will form near it. From memory when I lived there it always had cloud near it or on it during summer. I think if you travel a bit north to get nearer the center line you will have a clear unobstructed view from the beach, so long as cloud does not interfere. I have a feeling though that cloud will be present on the day though.
10-09-2011, 04:48 PM
I know of a couple of people are going to this cruise because they believe the viewing prospects will be better than the W240
I'm yet to decide.
14-09-2011, 10:54 PM
I was watching a documentary on Discovery channel earlier this year on the Solar System and apparently the Solar Eclipse is (from what I have heard) an almost totally unique experience in the WHOLE (observable) UNIVERSE. Professional astronomers don't think it happens anywhere else. The size comparison between the sun and moon is about 400x (that is the sun is 400x bigger than the moon.) What makes it unique is that the sun also 400x further away, so the size at relative distance (what we see here on Earth) is almost a perfect fit and every 11? 12? years or so the 2 bodies match up and we get a Solar Eclipse.
14-09-2011, 11:47 PM
Not quite Matt. Jupiter has solar eclipses on a regular basis (almost weekly actually), Saturn during the ring plane transits has eclipses too.
An eclipse happens almost 15-18 months somewhere on the earth. Totals can be further apart but regularly somewhere ever two years.
02-11-2011, 06:58 AM
the one year countdown is not far away.
This is the second year in a row of La Nina conditions.
One can view images and timelapse of the sky conditions over the last few years here http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/cyclone/2/show.html
otherwise live webcam here http://www.gorgecreekorchards.com.au/webcam3.htm
02-11-2011, 07:50 AM
Good point, Paul. :thumbsup:
So I can say, come to my place tonight and I'll show you a solar eclipse!
It just happens to be on Jupiter, and involves looking away from the Sun rather than at it!! :)
02-11-2011, 01:46 PM
The ones from Jupiter would be solar occultations wouldn't they? i.e. the moon would be bigger than the sun, so you wouldn't get the unique tight fit that we get here when the moon neatly blocks the sun almost exactly?
I'll have to fire up Universe Sandbox and check it out ;^)
07-11-2011, 06:25 AM
I plan to watch this for the next two weeks at eclipse time each morning.
I will compare cloud on the the coast north of Cairns with inland locations.
22-12-2011, 08:35 PM
So, what are your conclusions?? :question:
23-12-2011, 10:01 AM
Inland looks to be less cloudy.
15-01-2012, 11:19 PM
I've booked a place at Trinity Beach. Are any others interested in a pre-eclipse get-together?
When it comes to DSLR photography, would people go for something like an ST80 (400mm f/5) or a 500mm (f/6.3) SCT camera lens on a photo tripod? With an appropriate filter (Baader or maybe Thousand Oaks).
If it was the ST80, would I just need my Manfrotto (190XPROB) or do I have to get the CG5-ASGT out of the cupboard? (SWMBO would think taking the C8 or ED127 and G11 4,000+Km there and back beyond the pale.)
:thumbsup: good on ya Andrew im staying at Palm Cove woohoo cant wait :D
Yes im up for a get together with as many of us as we can either the night before or after or both :lol:
17-01-2012, 11:53 PM
Don't forget that you all have to race back for Snake Valley camp on 16th - 19th November 2012 ;) :lol:
:sadeyes: that will be the first one i will have to miss Ken :sadeyes: it is going to kill me :(
18-01-2012, 02:09 AM
Nah, it's OK Jen.
Just think, you get to travel thousands of K's to see a spectacular Eclipse for a whole few minutes :thumbsup:
Worth it to miss out on a normal old camp a whole 3 hours drive away, lasting only 4 nights and full of the same old people and maybe some new folk. :zzz2:
:( OH... now that you put it like that i wanna go to SV to be sleep deprived for 4 nights and laugh all night with the same old people :lol::lol:
19-01-2012, 05:20 AM
For those observing the eclipse from the beach.
On 14 Nov 2012 low tide in Cairns is at 2:35 am and high tide is at 9:17 am.
SkyMapPro gives the following times for the eclipse at Cairns.
Beginning of total phase
Time: 2012 Nov 14 06:38:14
Sun's altitude: 13.6°
End of total phase
Time: 2012 Nov 14 06:40:18
Sun's altitude: 14.1°
19-01-2012, 05:39 AM
On 14 Nov 2011 in Cairns the cloud was four 8ths at 9am.
On the 13th and 15th it was two 8ths.
22-01-2012, 10:39 AM
Anna and I have now booked the van in at the Cairns Holiday Park (http://cairnsholidaypark.com.au/) from the 12th - 19th.
09-02-2012, 09:57 PM
Memories. We lived in that park for a year - site 79. That was 22 years ago and it looks like a bit has changed but much is the same. We'll have to drop by for old times sake.
10-02-2012, 07:40 AM
The family and I will be staying around Cairns for 7 nights now, instead of heading to Uluru.
The budget just couldn't extend that far.
10-02-2012, 12:48 PM
My wife and I might spend several more days on the coast - perhaps Mossman, maybe Port Douglas (!) if the dollars might extend that far?
10-02-2012, 02:07 PM
Make sure you drop in and say hello David.
10-02-2012, 09:40 PM
I've booked a place in Cairns from 10th to 15th November for the family and I, and we're looking forward to it! Will hopefully catch up with some IISers while up there!
10-02-2012, 10:58 PM
How about collaborating on a KML for Google Maps with the locations where people intend to be? Just an approximate address with no name if you interested but are concerned about security. I would guess we'd have the coast from Port Douglas to Cairns fairly well covered.
On the Mulligan Highway at around 16.2716° S 144.7159° E seems to be as far as you can get from the coast, still be on the centre line, and catch the whole eclipse. Assuming a clear eastern horizon, the sun will have just cleared it.
A bit closer to the coast than that, the Mulligan Highway at Mt Carbine 16.5302° S 145.1363° E
Do we have any FNQers who'd know those areas?
12-02-2012, 03:34 PM
Attached are images that may help.
The first is at Mt Carbine a few hundred metres west of the pub.
The car is aligned in the direction of the Sun at eclipse.
The coast ranges at this point are at about 4 degrees elevation so you certainly miss first contact, but with the eclipse at about 13 degrees it is well above the ranges. If the clouds are a problem on the morning, the road west of Mt Carbine would get you further back from the ranges. Fortunately, the road for about the next 20 km is roughly aligned to the sun at eclipse time so a view down the road will be possible and if you are careful you should be able to pull off to the side of the road. Second image is from this road.
Further along the Mulligan Highway where the centreline crosses is quite different. The road is north south so the view to the east is compromised by trees and local hills. In addition the power line is generally on the eastern side of the road so that may interfere with photos. There are some place where you could get a view towards the Sun at eclipse, but not many. The third is an image of one place a little south of the centreline. There are others. If arriving in the dark on eclipse morning, you would want to be careful to pick a spot which has a clear view toward where the eclipse will be. At the exact point where the centreline crosses the road no view of the eclipse is possible due to trees. You can get a good impression of this by using Google Earth streetview.
Trust this helps,
12-02-2012, 04:53 PM
Thanks Terry. I think I'll stick to Trinity Beach and take my chances with the weather.
13-02-2012, 06:08 AM
This is the first of 7 photos near the eclipse line north of Cairns.
This is the first of 4 photos near the eclipse line inland from Cairns.
13-02-2012, 07:47 AM
Thanks Terry, very useful info since I'll be at Mt Carbine.
22-02-2012, 11:07 PM
Denise and I have been invited to stay in Palm Cove for the week 11/11 -18/11, with free accommodation! :D
We just have to book our flights early.
Looking forward to meeting up with a lots of IIS members!
22-02-2012, 11:11 PM
Google Earth .kmz files are available for this ecclipse and others at the following link.
:thumbsup: woohoo im staying at Palm Cove too :D
22-02-2012, 11:40 PM
Look forward to seeing you there Jen! :)
23-02-2012, 06:40 AM
23-02-2012, 11:57 AM
Apart from meeting Jen again, I'm also looking forward to having a look at M31, 31° above the horizon!
Plus the double cluster 16° above the horizon, and a whole bunch of other objects normally hidden from us Victorians!
Are you taking a little scope on the plane Chris?
23-02-2012, 06:45 PM
I booked flights for myself and the family today!
Starting to get real!
24-02-2012, 12:09 AM
Yes Liz, I've just bought a Stellarvue F80 finder/GNG/RFT from IIS member 'Flashdrive'.
It's small enough to go in hand luggage and I plan to make up a small foldable Alt/Az mount that will also fit in a backpack.
The scope gets lots of good reviews, for example: http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1916
24-02-2012, 10:15 AM
The attached 3 SkyMap Pro maps are for Oak Beach (on the eclipse line north of Cairns) the night before the eclipse.
The maps show the northern deep sky at 8pm, midnight and 4am. It will be dark from 7:45 pm to 4:20 am.
04-03-2012, 10:44 PM
I'm from Mareeba ( 100 km south of Mt Carbine )
05-03-2012, 05:40 AM
I've updated the article with information about the IceInSpace Eclipse Shades.
You can grab yours (and grab some for family and friends) here:
05-03-2012, 07:13 AM
Where will I find the end of the queue for Chris' scope?
05-03-2012, 11:33 PM
Too weird, the model for the glasses looks uncannily like my fiancé. I did a double take!
06-03-2012, 04:25 AM
haha that is weird, since the model is my daughter and she's 10 :)
Great initiative and I have ordered half a dozen pairs from the IceInSpace shop :cool2:
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
08-03-2012, 06:42 PM
Thanks Gary! :thumbsup:
10-03-2012, 01:10 PM
Whats the best beachfront Hotel to stay in Cairns? Where are most people staying in Cairns or Port douglas?
11-03-2012, 12:06 AM
IISers seem to be pretty well scattered all they way along the coast from Cairns to Port Douglas, with the majority (as far as I can work out) between Yorkeys Knob and Palm Cove, and some inland in the direction of Mount Molloy and Mount Carbine.
You might be lucky but a lot of the accommodation is booked out. Beachfront with a view to the east in particular. It might be a case of take what you can find.
For example, the place for which we have reservations at Trinity Beach has been almost fully booked for 2 years.
12-03-2012, 04:09 PM
Solar viewing glasses arrived today, we ordered an extra 4 pairs for the inevitable interested bystanders. They work great, almost as good as looking through the PST!
12-03-2012, 04:10 PM
Yes, she looks like a younger version obviously, but uncannily similar!
12-03-2012, 04:31 PM
Very cool! :)
12-03-2012, 11:57 PM
Anyone planning to go to the Eclipse, especially those in the SE Qld area should be interrested at least two sessions to be held as part of NACAA 2012 in Brisbane at Easter. These are an eclipse imaging workshop and a presentation about the eclipse. NACAA will be held at Queensland University from the 6th to the 9th April. Details are on the NACAA website: http://www.nacaa.org.au/2012/about .
The eclipse imaging workshop will be on the monday morning 9th April. There will be three hours of sharing information about how to image the total solar eclipse from those who have successfully done it before. It will cover everything you need to know from basic astrophotography, what focal length and what exposure to use to capture each of the eclipse effects through to a tutorial on using computer control of DSLR's. It will cover all of what I included in the eclipse photography presentation at AAIC and much more. Includes time for question and answers and discussion.
Speakers will be Terry Cuttle, Joe Cali, Steve Russell and Melissa Hulbert who between them have been to more than 25 total solar eclipses. See http://www.nacaa.org.au/2012/register/eiw
On the Sunday morning Joe Cali will be presenting on all you need to know if going to the eclipse including advice on preparation, observing techniques, weather prospects, observing locations and a description of eclipse phenomena. See http://www.nacaa.org.au/2012/talks/1064
Cost for the workshop is just $30 and $30 for a morning session including Joe's talk. However you must register for NACAA on the website. And don't leave it too long. Registrations close on 23rd March.
And have a look at the rest of the programme to see what you might be interested in. Loads of interesting stuff especially organised for amateur astronomers. Half day is just $30 (includes morning or afternoon tea) or a whole day is $80 including lunch and m/a teas. Or do a full registration for $250 including Saturday and Sunday sessions and social functions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
See you there.
14-03-2012, 11:01 AM
I've been absent from the forums for a long time ... :( (still been looking up though :thumbsup: )
But I'm taking the family on a 7 week road trip from Melbourne all up the east coast to coincide in the Cairns area for the eclipse (towing the camper trailer). Besides being something I've wanted to see myself for a long time, I'm really looking forward to giving the kids an experience they'll remember like this.
My main question revolves around the best place is to park ourselves... mainly for the viewing of the event itself (but also partly local accomodation - camping/caravan not a problem).
Any good tips? Are there any places in which numbers of IISer's are gathering?
14-03-2012, 01:01 PM
Have a look at Mt Carbine Caravan park, Chris. A few of us are going to be there.
14-03-2012, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the reply Erick. I just realised that I had been making an unconscious assumption that viewing should be on the beach (probably because I wouldn't know where in-land to go with good viewing).
You've obviously looked into this - and would love to hear your reason for choosing there. What's your opinion on Mt Carbine vs (say) Palm Cove?
23-03-2012, 01:45 AM
Hey everyone... new here - great site!!!
Very much looking forward to this eclipse in November.
Me and a friend plan to view this towards the Arnhem Escarpment, NNE of Jabiru, NT outside the community of Oenpelli / Gunbalanya on a large rise on the Arnhem Land side. According to the NASA eclipse Google Map page ( http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012Nov13Tgoogle.html ), an eclipsed sun will rise at 2032 UT (6:02 CST) with it becoming totally eclipsed four minutes later at 2036 for 1m21s.
I think this could be an insane photographic opportunity with an enlarged (illusion) sun/moon against the foreground of the Arnhem Escarpment.
Do you guys reckon this location could be risky due to the normal nature of increased cloudiness on the immediate horizon?
Here is Google Earth simulation of the sunrise at 5:56AM, 14/11/12.
Does anyone know if the sun shading here would be accurate?
Looking forward to your answers!
23-03-2012, 08:22 AM
A better class of tourist? And I can afford to stay there :D
Hoping to get away from the crowds. Reccie a nice hilltop the day before or some other good viewing location.
23-03-2012, 08:39 AM
Aren't you afraid some of those pesky trees may be a bother?
23-03-2012, 11:39 AM
Have chainsaw will travel. :P
Nah, from Mt Carbine to Bob's Lookout the orientation of the road is towards the sun (ie you look down the road) - just don't get hit by a road train. Further north, and closer to the centre line, the road runs north-south and the trees and power line are a real issue. I'm not sure it is all impossible but you wouldn't know until you got there.
23-03-2012, 11:45 AM
I plan to check out the accessible tops of hills the days before. Perhaps if these is a bushfire a month before eclipse??
But I had already noted the road ran east-west, so, road trains permitting, stand between the double white line, I reckon. (But might get hit by the bikes - I understand that is their special lane on roads?)
23-03-2012, 12:05 PM
Sounds like Fun!
Mind if I join your little group? (availability of new bookings permitting)
When are you going up?
I have sent an enquiry for the week beginning Friday the 9th.
to allow settling in an pre event reconnaissance.
23-03-2012, 02:31 PM
We are in Mt Carbine about two days before E -day, then spend another night before moving on.
Current plan is to fly in and out of Townsville and spend days before and days after enjoying the drive (rental) and the sights and trying to find cheap motels to stay in. Haven't been to Paranella Park since I was a little tacker. Want to do the lakes, the falls and Mossman. Cairns and Port Douglas - who cares...:shrug: OK, maybe visit the roof of the Cairns Casino and pay our respects to Goliath?
29-03-2012, 05:56 PM
On the subject of eclipse accommodation, I just had the email from hell:
"We have been advised from the owners of ******* that this house is no longer available for Holiday Rental. Our office would like to apologize for this."
Aaarrrggghhhh.... Booked that house at Clifton Beach over a year ago, but fortunately the agent has offered us another in the same estate. Phew! We'll be there a week, hope to catch up with a few bods. :thumbsup:
29-03-2012, 07:00 PM
we caught up at one of the bright astro club nights up top of mt buffalo at the lake in Jan - it would be great to catch up with you again if possible - i'm heading up to cairns for this event also.
19-04-2012, 06:48 AM
Received this via email, for anyone thinking of coming up to Cairns and hasn't organised accommodation yet.
I am now booked in to spend 6 days up at Palm Cove, 30 mins drive north of Cairns. Now the ~6 month wait begins :D
15-05-2012, 12:50 AM
HI all, I,m thinking of making the trip to cairns but have no idea on accommodation options. I think I may have left it a bit late.
Are there any IIS members willing to put up fellow Astro nut for a few days in the cairns area??
A bit of floor space will do!!
Or does anyone have any ideas on cheap accommadation for a few nights?
This will be my first total eclipse and possibly my last chance to see one.
Look forward to any replys
15-05-2012, 04:43 AM
Try this thread: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=90581
Has some cheap accommodation options.
15-05-2012, 02:15 PM
I'm in the same boat. Have replied to the thread suggested by Mike.
For those staying at Mt Carbine - chat with friends last night who stayed there a couple of weeks ago. The whole place/town is booked out, including 40 Japanese staying at teh Conference Centre. They will be short of supplies, so bring everything you need. :help:
20-05-2012, 08:04 PM
how about the option of hiring a campervan or similiar ???
22-05-2012, 12:16 AM
So i posted in general chat, mike thought it may be good here as well have a look here
looking forward to the trip :D
The Venus Transit was such a supherb start to the countdown of the Solar Eclipse. Making preparations, having the right gear,taking images of the Sun for the first time through the telescope. I know quite a few of us were inf that boat Great practice indeed for the biggie to come.
Still a bit of fine tuning, and perhaps another couple of .... little purchases to help ensure the best result that we can manage. Cant wait!!!! :D
12-06-2012, 01:27 PM
Thanks for heads-up, Liz!
12-06-2012, 04:35 PM
What will the eclipse look like from further south, like Coffs Harbour or Sydney etc.?
Have you got the Astronomy 2012 Australia mag - there are pics in it of the major cities views - pic taken from the book.
13-06-2012, 12:27 AM
Now I am glad I am arriving there a few days early.
13-06-2012, 12:30 AM
Thanks for those pics, just what I was looking for.
I would have loved to have been able to head North, but just cannot afford it and was wondering how much I would see from here.
13-06-2012, 07:52 AM
More eclipse glasses needed no doubt ;)
I'll have more stock in late July/August.
18-06-2012, 11:58 AM
And I would like a travelling/camping buddy, see http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=92435 for ddetails
Woooohoooooooo i just booked and paid for my flights today yipeeeeeeee let the countdown begin :D:D:D
Oh any melbournians out there that havnt booked their flights yet jetstar now have a sale on $99 BARGIN get on it :D:P
See you all soon real :face:
(look out Cairns im coming) :evil:
27-06-2012, 07:51 PM
Me too Jen
But mine were $89 from jetstar only mins ago.:)
Oh you cheeky bugger :lol: good one :thumbsup:
Im just about all organised now yayyyyyy accomodation all booked and paid for 7 nights at Palm Cove :) flights are all organised now :) just need to organise a hire car and save save save now for spending money :P
I cant wait to meet you all :D
28-06-2012, 08:27 AM
Was looking forward to going to see the eclipse but father duties will be higher up on my list of priorities. Oh well, I'll just close my eyes and remember being under the shadow of the moon during the 2002 eclipse.
30-06-2012, 08:49 PM
I live in Trinity Beach and have just bought a Lunt LS60 THa /PT/B1200.
Over the next few months I will trying out the Lunt in several locations "scoping" out the best place to view the eclipse along with a couple of plan "B"s should mother nature conspire against us.
The Rex lookout on the way to Port Douglas and the Kuranda Range lookout will be high on the list
Looking very forward to meeting up with other members of the IIS community.
01-07-2012, 07:15 AM
Gary, can you post Google map links to good lookout spots? As a 'Stranger on a Stange Land' it would be good to know which are good spots to check out, rather than driving willy nilly round the district checing out everything vaguely possible. I will be staying at Mowbray.
I was looking at the Google earth map of the centreline and it crosses the Mossman Mt Molloy Rd at around the 410m elevation. Are there any lookouts along there - I found a likely looking spot at lat=-16.5340068604, lon=145.381454329 at an elevation of 379m and with a clearly visible pull off for cars spot or two. Failing anyone knowing what this place is like I'll go up and view sunrise there the day after I arrive, it's not a long drive from the van park.
01-07-2012, 10:19 AM
There are two lookouts along this road and both face the wrong direction - you will not see the rising sun from these lookouts. (Sun rise at 109 degrees, eclipse at 105 degrees)
The bad news is that there are very few places where you will get a view of the eclipse from a lookout in the coastal area in the path of totality.
There are three roads that go from the coast up the coastal range:
The road from Mossman to Mt Molloy (mentioned above).
Smithfield to Kuranda which has the Henry Ross lookout with a great view.
The road from Gordonvale to Atherton does not have any useful lookouts (for eclipse viewing).
The problem is that the roads are all lined with a thick growth of trees (this is the wet tropics). You can get a good imporession of this with Google Earth street view. Pretty much all the roads in the coastal area have streetview.
There are quite a few places to stop on the Captain Cook highway with Rex lookout (mentioned above) being the highlight.
Because of the very limited lookouts they will no doubt be extremely popular and you will probably need to be there very early to stake your spot if you want to observe from there and they may be under police/parking control.
01-07-2012, 11:40 AM
I feared as much. Any good spot is going to be at a premium. I do plan to camp the night before wherever I decide but expect hordes. When I went to WA for the 1999 annular it was like a 3 ring circus!
01-07-2012, 12:03 PM
I will pm you the google earth markers of the Henry Ross and Rex lookouts. I might have photos as well. And yes they will be sought after locations.
02-07-2012, 01:40 PM
Great, we have someone to plan the IIS members "get-together" :D
Come'on Jen, organise something for the afternoon after the eclipse.
All we need is a time and a place, and enough time to drive back from the Tablelands.
02-07-2012, 02:00 PM
I was thinking that the top pub at Port Douglas might be good. Out of the hustle and bustle of Cairns with ample parking. And only a short roll down the hill to the bottom pub. :).
But I'm totally open to other suggestions.
:D yes i totally agree Erick :) ok all meet me at 12:00pm have no idea where :screwy: as i have no idea of the area :rolleyes: any pub/beach will do :P maybe half way somewhere between Cairns and Port Douglas as there will be a lot travelling from either end :question:
02-07-2012, 04:37 PM
Wherever will do. We'll be about 1 hr 10 min from Port Douglas and about 2 hours from Cairns.
03-07-2012, 12:49 PM
Sounds good. Houghy, jjjnettie & I are staying at Mowbray which is about halfway. So either direction suits. I will make sure I don't schedule my Kuranda trip for that day.
03-07-2012, 01:14 PM
Don't forget that there will be lots of crazy, sweaty people doing the marathon in Port Douglas.
03-07-2012, 03:44 PM
That's right. We'll be setting up the day before so we don't get caught up in road closures etc on the morning. :)
04-07-2012, 06:38 AM
some good news......
05-07-2012, 06:48 PM
I was at the solar eclipse conference in Delhi last December. In his talk about this November's weather prospects I believe that Jay Anderson said that, "there is only a 5% difference in mean cloud cover during an El nino year compared to a La Nina year."
So whilst it is slightly better news, don't start dancing in the streets yet. I can add a little to this. El niño is basically a phenomena that affects winter spring rains in eastern & southern Australia. Yes Cairns is in the zone that is influenced. It's on the decay as summer approaches which is why it's effect on this eclipse is small.
The biggest influence on weather stability will be how advanced the progress of the intertropical convergence zones migration from Asia is by November.
09-07-2012, 04:21 PM
For anyone looking for accommodation during the eclipse, try this thread:
It's at Palm Cove, within the centre line.
21-07-2012, 10:22 PM
Hi Guys, Mt Carbine Caravan Park seems a useful base for viewing locations along the Mulligan Hwy. The proprietor spoke briefly on the phone about sites on the eastern side of the road where local roads cross the ranges. I've been using Google Earth a lot and have written to Maitland Downs Station asking for permission to view from a rocky (granite ? ) hiiltop on the Western side , approx 144 deg 34min / 16 deg 15 min South. Anybody else considering this " drier, inland " region? I live near Coonabarabran. First heard of Icein Space from another visitor at the Siding Spring Open Day 2009. Back in 2002, we used an inland back road successfully. Didn't want to be with crowds at the " recommended popular site on the beach at Ceduna " Likewise this time. BTW in July 2028 there's a total eclipse coming through Gulargambone. Maybe I won't have to travel for that one.
22-07-2012, 02:51 AM
I will stay at Mt Carbine.
This is the view east from Maitland Downs https://picasaweb.google.com/108601959704657654084/Qld2008?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ35qvjEocvvD A#5245662184453345810
On the way north and or south you can observe northern deep sky objects from a free camping site at Fletcher Creek north of Charters Towers.
For more images of the eclipse area start here https://picasaweb.google.com/108601959704657654084/Qld2008?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ35qvjEocvvD A#5245660486789696514
Palmer River roadhouse is another good camping place https://picasaweb.google.com/108601959704657654084/Qld2008?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ35qvjEocvvD A#5245662858426376786
A few of us from Townsville are staying at Mt Carbine too, so will be interested to see how you go Phillip.
Where are you viewing from Glen?
A couple from our Group have been up for a look, and found a 'spot',but lots of prints/action may lead to a bit of a crowd??
22-07-2012, 09:28 AM
Where are you viewing from Glen?
* I will have a look around the day before.
22-07-2012, 01:08 PM
I am staying at Mt Carbine too.
Any advice on a good location will be greatfully accepted.
I don't take up much room. ;)
I am arriving a few days earlier on the 9th.
Thought that may let me reserve a spot before the crowd?
Looking forward to meeting lots of IIS new friends.
22-07-2012, 04:31 PM
Im at Mt Carbine too.... we will all have to catch up!
Cheers Petra d.
Excellent all, the Mt Carbine Mob. :thumbsup:
22-07-2012, 07:40 PM
Yep, my wife and I and a few friends will be at Mt Carbine. Arriving a day before.
24-07-2012, 12:11 AM
Im really looking forward to *hopefully* seeing my first total solar eclipse in November! However before I start setting thing in motion I have a couple of worries - Ive never been to Cairns before (Im NSW based), and since Im flying up I wont be able to take any of my own equipment with me. I was looking at the Eclipse Tours but I can only get 3 days off work so paying that much for a 10 day tour wouldnt work!
Im not fussy about accommodation but I would certainly love to know any areas where I could start looking around!
Basically I have no idea what Im doing and Ill take any I can get!
07-08-2012, 10:57 AM
I am also going to be staying in Cairns (though just for the 13th and 14th, so only one night), and am trying to find a reasonable spot for observation (just eclipse glasses though, as I will be unable to take my scope) within reasonable walking distance of the town (don't drive, and even if I did, it would not be worth paying the price of car hire in a major tourist town when I would only be using it for about four hours.)
Even a public viewing event would be fine, just as long as it is somewhere with reasonable view of the sun for that time of year (i.e. no mountains in the way)
07-08-2012, 04:26 PM
There are good references contained in this thread http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-371-0-0-1-0.html.
Joe Cali's site contains a fair bit that is Cairns-specific http://joe-cali.com/eclipses/PLANNING/2012_beginners/index.html.
08-08-2012, 03:45 AM
Thank you David the 2nd link you provided is very helpful indeed!!!
I will arrive in Cairns on the 12th and plan scout around for a suitable site. Really looking forward to it, it will be my first eclipse.
08-08-2012, 06:23 AM
How to get to Mt Carbine?
Is there enough space there? Suitable plateau? Any other significant reasons to be there? I had a look at google maps, it seems positions along Mulligan Highway are suitable..
I will be in Palm Cove, arriving on 12th noon.. so I'll have 13th for finding a suitable place for observing.
08-08-2012, 08:08 AM
I gather we'll all be out "scouting" on the 13th!
08-08-2012, 07:45 PM
Hi folks. Does anyone know what the light level will be at Palm Cove during the eclipse? Is it measured as a % of normal sunlight at that time of day, or in lumens, or whatever? It will be helpful to know for several reasons, e.g. general illumination for photography, carrying a torch, will streetlights switch on ...
08-08-2012, 08:12 PM
Lighting level during a total solar eclipse is generally about the same as night time with a full moon.
But it does vary mainly dependant on the duration of totality and how close to the edge of the shadow you are. Palm Cove is relatively close to the centreline so expect about full moon brightness.
It often appears to be darker than that because the light level changes so quickly that your eyes do not have time to adapt. Experienced observers will often use an eye patch over one eye to pre adapt to the darkness and then whip it off at totality.
Compared to brightness on a sunny day that is a factor of about 500,000 or 1,000,000 to 1. Streetlights will often come on during totality (unless they are deactivated) but not always as it depends on what time delay is built into the sensors. Plan on not being able to read any markings on your camera (unless they are illuminated) - practice doing what you want to by feel in the dark beforehand to be sure.
It would be a pity if you felt the need to use a torch in what is a dramatic scene of day turning to night.
Great to read this again, and will reread quite a few times over the next 3 months ... yes, 3 months to go!!
Yep, as per everyone, we will all be scouting on the 13th. :D
09-08-2012, 10:49 AM
To anyone coming to Queensland Astrofest, I will be there most of the week and will have detailed maps of the eclipse area and eclipse circumstances and many photos of/from possible observing sites gathered from several scouting trips to the path of totality.
On Sunday 12 Aug I will be giving a talk about the eclipse and eclipse photography.
On Friday 17 Aug I will do a joint presentation with Xavier Jubier that will talk about the eclipse with a focus on eclipse photography.
Xavier runs the website http://xjubier.free.fr/en/index_en.html which contains a wealth of information and tools for eclipses and he is the developer of “Eclipse Maestro” a program for eclipse camera control using Macs. I can talk about eclipse camera control for Windows, having used that at the last 3 total solar eclipses.
09-08-2012, 11:44 AM
Would you make that information available for us who can't participate on Astrofest? I would love to come but I will have to be overseas during that time.
09-08-2012, 01:00 PM
Yes, Terry, it would be great if you can publish somewhere.... :thumbsup:
09-08-2012, 04:09 PM
While it will be relatively easy to show it to people and talk about it at Astrofest, much of it is in a form that would take more time than I have available to put it on line.
Some of it however will go on a website in the next month or so.
I will put out a message when it is available.
09-08-2012, 06:13 PM
Google Maps is your friend. There is 'street view' of the whole of the Mulligan Hwy. Have a look and Bob's your uncle ;).
09-08-2012, 06:40 PM
13-08-2012, 10:57 PM
I have organised group accommodation at blue lagoon trinity beach, fortunately for some lucky people two of our group are unable to attend so there are two spots available in a twin share room. They are pool front rooms with kitchen facilities. So interested parties should let me know asap
From the 12/11 to the 17/11 at $71.15 per head per night.Would need 1/2 asap $177.88 and the other half in a couple of months I have also organised a couple of 8 seater vans for the week will cost an extra $7.00 per head per day. There are 14 in our group some from the maitland camera club, some from Newcastle astronomical society and some from iis so it should be fun.
Accommodation is getting very scarce for this week up there so haste is advised................
there are two spots available only :thumbsup:
17-08-2012, 12:52 AM
The Granite stuck out like the proverbial when I started scouting for total eclipse centre-line sites for this Nov 14th. Trying to stay away from the Rock Music, I eventually was forced to write a letter on paper and use a stamped envelope to contact a local station property that had no modern contact details that I could find. Very kindly, they suggested contacting the neighbours. So www.adamsdam.com (http://www.adamsdam.com) is now alive and useful. They are still building the new tourist camping site as of now. Showers/toilets/power/security/lake for swimming. And access to the big granite hill, possibly by helicopter on the 14th, for those wishing to avoid a big climb. Details are sketchy as yet, so I've asked lots of questions and suggested using Google Earth to illustrate the layout and location of the noisy music and Alternative items at the www.2012acosmicconvergence.com (http://www.2012acosmicconvergence.com) New Age ? Event. Only downside, so far discovered, is "no dogs ". Our Mini-Schnauzers really enjoyed the Ceduna eclipse in 2002. It was my first. My Last may be Gulargambone 22 July 2028 = 3min42sec =from my backyard if I'm still here, in both senses.
17-08-2012, 01:36 AM
When the New Moon occurs this morning , we'll be exactly 3 synodic months away from the next total eclipse, I believe. Just an interesting thought as I watch the " Current Moon " app tick over on the Iceinspace page. Sorry, it's 01:54 Saturday morning, [ 18Aug2012 ] when I checked.
17-08-2012, 06:13 PM
Yes The Granite is a good prospect for views and also for weather. Of course if you want Baileys Beads south of he centre line is better. Never-the-less some friends and I have booked. The site looks great but of course it will be properly hot and it's BYO shade.
We've also had problems with communication, in particular we've had no replies from the eclipsedownunder web site. The station owners said that the cosmic convergence have part of the area but there is also room for general campers. We've enquired about how sites in the general area will be managed but apparently the organisers haven't responded.
Talk of helicopters is a surprise. I hope they have the sense to keep them away from the immediate dam area and out of the air near totality. I did consider climbing the granite but thought better of it. It seems that there isn't enough time in the morning, climbing during the night is difficult and more dangerous but sitting up there overnight could be considered. However I decided I have photographic ambitions and lugging the gear is too much.
21-08-2012, 10:52 PM
Looking forward to another event! Down in Melbourne and will be able to see some of the eclipse. Hopefully the weather holds up (praying, praying, praying!).
I will be inviting friends over like I did with the Venus transit. Everyone loved witnessing the once in a lifetime event and got some great photos out of it!
Now that I have a full DSLR setup I am hoping to get even better pictures this time.
Hi Stefan I don't think it is visible down Melbourne way thats why we are all heading up cairns way :D
22-08-2012, 07:40 PM
I thought it would be a partial esclipse down here. I had a look at the link to the information on it here.
22-08-2012, 08:16 PM
Yes there will be a partial eclipse from Melbourne.
The penumbra will cover the whole of Australia.
Attached is an image showing the magnitude of the eclipse (maximum coverage of the Sun's diameter) from various locations.
Approx magnitude from Melbourne will be 52%.
But do not think you are getting 52% of the show. Nothing like it.
The moon will partially cover the Sun and move off again.
You will not see any part of the dramatic effects of the total solar eclipse.
For that you need to be in the path of totality and THAT is why people are heading for the Cairns - Port Douglas region.
25-08-2012, 10:25 PM
The latest weather observations and predictions are good news. All the indicators point towards El Nino conditions developing. The BoM predictions for north-eastern Australia for Sept to Nov are for a 40-45% chance of exceeding the median rainfall. So drier than average. However it will also be hotter with a probability of above median maximums of 65% in Cairns and 70% or more inland. Minimums also have a 60-65% probability of being above the median. Exactly how this relates to cloud low in the east in the early morning is, of course, unclear but I'm taking it as a good sign.
Sounds good David, fingers crossed for El Nino - I heard our local weather guys talking about that too.
28-08-2012, 12:12 AM
I've added a cloud sensor to my website.
To compare between inland and the coast over the next few months.
soon, i will be adding more webcams.
I'm located south of the centre line.
Thank you cyclone. :thumbsup:
28-08-2012, 07:02 PM
I am planning on staying in Cairns and driving North well before dawn, I am an early riser so it won't be an issue for me, the only thing is it will be all camera viewing, I won't bring my telescope up there on the plane, I know how rough the airlines are with suitcases having been in the industry for a lot of years.
So, pack it well, or leave it at home if flying up to Cairns.
31-08-2012, 12:38 AM
I know I don't post much here, more a reader than a writer, but I'll be up in GlenGarry Holiday Park for the eclipse. It would be nice to say Hi to whoever's around (especially as I'll be roughing it in my tent so you'll probably have better accommodation than me :).
Look out for the balding nut with a small hire car & even smaller tent!
Hope to bring my 80mm APO & 2 x DSLR's for the show but I'm also interested in doing some nature photography whilst up that neck of the woods.
Clear Skies to all (cross fingers, become religious, make a sacrifice...)
03-09-2012, 02:38 AM
This map shows rest areas/camping places along the way.
03-09-2012, 11:02 PM
I'm planning on getting a whole bunch of gear up there via surface freight or removalist company. I'm surprised more people aren't considering this option? Not cheap but more realistic than an EQ6 and a scope via excess baggage. When else will I get that opportunity at an eclipse?
Quote I got last year was around $220 per cubic metre each way from a removal company in Melbourne, but you may need a small local group doing it together to get to minimum quantity if you're only taking a very small amount.
06-09-2012, 01:45 AM
I think you're being prematurely defeatist.
Cairns will be my ninth total eclipse + another 2 annulars. I've flown all over the world to intercept these eclipses with a variety of instruments
500mm f4.5 lens (110mm front element)
and 70 and 80mm refractors including an ED 80
I have a custom designed and machined ultra light motorized EQ mounting (4.5 kg all up). The EQ mount and optics usually all get packed into a standard Antler semi rigid suitcase - the panels flex a bit. The mount and optics all get wrapped or rolled in about 4 layers of bubble wrap and thrown in the suitcase with my clothes in between.
The whole system + clothes checks in just over 20kg. On most of these trips, I've spent considerable periods of time (weeks to months) traveling before and after the eclipse. Never had any damage to anything despite multi-sector flights to places like Bolivia, Romania, Libya, Zambia, China (twice). No damage. Once in China I blamed baggage handling for some damage to a stepper motor wire but in hindsight, I think it was just a case of metal fatigue. On the way home from Zambia, the suitcase arrived with one corner cracked but the refractor and 500mm f4.5 lens packed inside were fine.
When I visited the remote Tuamoto atolls in French Polynesia for the 2010 eclipse, I packed it all into a backpack rather than a suitcase again with a bit more bubble wrap and a thick beach towel around everything - once again no problems.
Telescopes, particularly modern refractors are very solidly made. Obviously I can't promise, but in my experience, I think your gear will most likely survive a 2hr domestic trip to Cairns given that mine has survived many 20-30 hr multi sector flights.
06-09-2012, 02:00 AM
I would certainly support what Joe says, although I approach it a little differently.
My 76mm refractor (3kg) and cameras ALWAYS are in a backpack as carry on. Mount & drive is in checked in luggage. Plenty of bubble wrap all round.
I likewise have travelled extensively internationally to many eclipses in this way and never had a problem with damaged equipment.
I would never dream of leaving good optics behind when going to an eclipse.
06-09-2012, 08:33 AM
I just redeived the following email from http://www.birdwatchers.com.au/ at Jurlatten. So if anyone is looking for last minute accommodation they may be able to (ahem) accommodate you.
Just checking our bookings for the Eclipse and wasn't sure if you still wanted a camp site or not. We actually have some self-contained units now available for the two nights of November 13th & 14th as the Japanese tour group cancelled after finding they couldn't get flights into Cairns.
I imagine you have made other arrangement, but thought I would let you know.
Keith & Lindsay Fisher
Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge
RN 6 Mt. Kooyong Road
Julatten QLD 4871
Ph : (07) 4094 1263
Web Site: www.birdwatchers.com.au <http://www.birdwatchers.com.au>
Blog: http://kingfisherparkbirdwatchers.blogspot .com/
Winner: Wet Tropics 2010 Cassowary Award for Nature Based Tourism
06-09-2012, 08:36 AM
For those not travelling up to see totality, I've written an article based around the AAQ's great infographic posted a page or two ago.
Partial Solar Eclipse for Australian Capital Cities, 14th November 2012 (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-705-0-0-1-0.html).
Thanks to the AAQ for a great graphic!
06-09-2012, 09:09 AM
My worry with carrying on lots of stuff as hand luggage is that if it's deemed too large or too much, they'll take it and check it in. Happened to my camera bag once because the bag was deemed too big on a small commuter plane. Fortunately it survived.
So if you carry on, it has to be packed for solo check in anyway.
I prefer to pack it myself in a suitcase in a form where I'm confident of it's survival and once done, I'm not burdened by too much hand luggage. Once I discovered that I could safely check in optics, I never looked back.
Whichever way you decide to carry, I agree with Terry that I wouldn't dream of leaving good optics behind when going to an eclipse. Both of us are however driving to Cairns this time with a carload of gear so for once, neither of us have to scrimp. We've organized spacious accommodation with car parking right next to the apartments so we have space to store the gear during the week when we are not using it and it's easy to load and unload the cars.
One trick I use to minimize gear to pack when flying is to do a complete setup on the lounge room floor. The suitcase or a box is on standby next to the setup. Once set up parts are transferred to the packing box as the set up is disassembled. Only parts from the set up and tools used during the assemble/ disassemble are packed and nothing else. Any contingency tools are carefully considered before inclusion. I carry one small 100mm shift spanner and I even went to the extent of filing out my own spanner from aluminium for one larger nut on my mount.
Flying to Tatakoto for the 2010 eclipse, we were warned we had strict limits of 3kg hand luggage and 20kg checked. We were flying in smallish 40 seat planes landing on short airstrips. The cabins had small overhead luggage holds for carry on. The above prep technique kept me under these limits. All this may sound pedantic but it adds up to kilograms in the long run. Since 2001, I've worked at reducing my check in baggage from 30kg to 20kg without transferring weight to carry on. My current setup has more functionality than the much heavier gear I hauled and paid excess baggage fees on in 1999, 2001 and 2006. Of course going by car this time - all bets are off :D!
10-09-2012, 12:35 PM
brilliant advice - ;) you dont have a photo of your setups for said journey's?
10-09-2012, 11:39 PM
Thanks for your comments David.
I have some photos scattered through my web site
Picture of the mounting + 70mm f6.3 APO
Few pictures of me with the equipment (less detailed) on the motu (little island) at Tatakoto taken by Geoff Sims or Bengt Alfredsson at the top of this page :
The equipment developed gradually over a ten year period of eclipse chasing. I have a whole article describing the evolution of my gear.
Basically it wasn't a question of whether I could get away with carrying the weight, it was that I didn't enjoy lugging it around and I had to cut it down so I could also enjoy the travel associated with these trips.
Basically the whole mount is designed specifically for solar eclipse observing and flight portability.
Every component of the mount and tripod is constructed from hollow tubes or thin struts. Strength and bulk only where required.
The single arm fork can be slid back and forth transverse to the RA axis to balance the load around the RA axis thereby eliminating the need for any counterweights.
The drive is a very small diameter not very accurate worm drive driven by a small step motor and a simple driver circuit. Accurate enough for any solar event but definitely not for long exposure astrophotography. With a max exposure of only a few seconds for the outer corona, you don't need an accurate drive for a solar eclipse. However a drive that keeps the sun centered is a great convenience.
It's strong but so light the payload can tip it so I often hang weight off the tripod under the head or more commonly use rubber bands to attach bottles of water to each leg to stabilize it. These can of course always be purchased at or near destination and not carried on the airline. In the photo on the China page, I was about to pack up and removed the water bottles before taking the photos.
Of more importance is that an equatorial drive will keep the image correctly rotated which makes stacking vastly easier. Whilst you can rotate and align images from an alt-az mounted system, Moon and the corona are moving at different rates. Background stars down to mag. 6 to 7 are visible in my longer exposures but not in the short ones. Following each solar eclipse, the solar eclipse mailing list is full of people asking how to align alt-az acquired images. It isn't easy and many give up in frustration.
11-09-2012, 12:30 PM
classic GOLD! thanks:thumbsup:
13-09-2012, 10:39 AM
Just a word of warning for those that think that they can just use their camera directly with the computer and software to control the camera. Its all good - right up until you start to take a few images then things will go pear shaped if you have a bog standard class 10 memory card. Your camera can't write to it fast enough before the next shot comes. i have just widened the bottleneck to allow for fast image download to the memory card - just got 2 x 32GB Lexar SHDC Professional 600x for the 60D and the 650D. i thought i would have been ok with what i had, but my poor little fujifilm 32gb class 10 SDHC can only write at 23MBs max. The new ones will do 90MB/s . Dont skimp on your memory!!!!! After all you are spending all the readdy on getting there ;) So at a minimum get some thing likes of 90MB/s or higher. i'll get off the soapbox now
13-09-2012, 12:19 PM
Great advice Dave.
But the ESSENTIAL thing is that you give it a COMPLETE run well before the day with all the gear you will use on the day (using simmulated time).
Then CHECK the images that have been recorded to see that you are getting exactly what you want.
This will check that the script is correct and that you do not have any skipped images due to delays in writing and the program has correctly set the exposure for each image.
If you dont do this there is a high probabality that you will have a problem.
And you only get ONE go at it on the day.
13-09-2012, 12:39 PM
Oh and look at your battery life, turn off the auto focus, and a whole other swathe of stuff......including the "backup plan";)
17-09-2012, 08:05 AM
Just scored beachfront accommodation in Trinity Beach due to a late cancellation in my local astro society.
Who else is planning to be in Trinity?
Now... What gear to take....
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