The previously dark clouds parted above the Beverly Begg
Observatory and dozens of Dunedin skygazers were unexpectedly
able to see "the moon biting the sun" in a rare partial solar
The previous partial solar eclipse easily visible from the
city was in February 2008, and the next will not happen until
Among the eager and surprised viewers was Lynn Taylor (78) a
life member of the Dunedin Astronomical Society.
She was at first "very disappointed" to be thwarted by the
clouds, but delighted to later get a good view.
Huge crowds gathered in Far North Queensland to watch a total
eclipse (top right) at 6.39am Australian time.
Viewing of the partial eclipse was expected to begin in
Dunedin at 9.34am but nothing could be seen until shortly
before 10.45am when the clouds parted for about a minute,
allowing people a glimpse of the partial eclipse near its
predicted 61% maximum coverage of the sun.
Shortly after 11am, the clouds parted again, allowing good
viewing of a diminishing partial eclipse until the event
ended at 11.43am.
"It was fantastic. It's brilliant," said Angela Clark, a
society member, who took several photographs, using her
digital camera and two telescopes, including the partial
eclipse at left.
More than 50 people visited the Dunedin observatory.
Society president Ron Paine said the viewing had been "quite
impressive" although early cloud had discouraged more people
from watching at the observatory using specially
filter-protected telescopes to protect their eyes from sun
Although cloud hindered viewing in much of southern New
Zealand, Northlanders got a good view when the moon obscured
89% of the sun at 10.25am in Whangarei.