total solar eclipse in Australia 2012

Like a Diamond in the Sky a dark Sun hung over Queensland, Australia on Wednesday morning during a total solar eclipse. Storm clouds threatened to spoil the view along the northern coast, but minutes before totality the clouds parted.   Image credit: Alex Cherney (Terrastro, TWAN)     Used with permission.

Larger image

Streaming past the Moon’s edge, the last direct rays of sunlight produced a gorgeous diamond ring effect in this scene from Ellis Beach between Cairns and Port Douglas.

Winking out in a moment, the diamond didn’t last forever though. The area was plunged into darkness for nearly 2 minutes as the Moon’s shadow swept off shore toward Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and out into the southern Pacific.

Ranging from 1/4000 to 1/15 seconds long, five separate exposures were blended in the image to create a presentation similar to the breathtaking visual experience of the eclipse.

Tens of thousands of people across northern Australia have witnessed the total solar eclipse. The rare spectacle, where the moon passes between the sun and earth, hasn’t been visible in the region for 1,300 years.

source APOD