From boats bobbing on the Great Barrier Reef, to hot air balloons hovering over the rainforest, and the hilltops and beaches in between, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists, and amateur astronomers watched as the sun, moon, and Earth aligned and plunged northern Australia into darkness during a total solar eclipse early today. Starting just after dawn, the eclipse cast its 95-mile shadow in Australia's Northern Territory, crossed the northeast tip of the country and swept east across the South Pacific
Totality—the darkness that happens at the peak of the eclipse—lasted just over two minutes in the parts of Australia where it was visible. Gloomy weather had left many eclipse-chasers who had traveled to Australia from around the globe anxious that they wouldn't be able to see a thing. But the clouds moved in time for many to watch as the moon blotted out the sun's rays and cast a shadow over the tropical landscape. The next total solar eclipse will take place in March 2015, but eclipse-watchers will have to travel to the North Atlantic's Faroe Islands or Svalbard to see it.