TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2023

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR THE 2023 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

On April 20, 2023, in an event lasting close to three hours, the sun, the moon and the earth will align to create a Total Solar Eclipse. Exmouth on the Ningaloo Reef, on Western Australia’s stunning Coral Coast, will be one of the best locations in the world to see it happen.

Eclipse chasers are set to travel from around the world to be in Exmouth to see 2023's total solar eclipse, in a small spot on the Exmouth cape, being one of the few accessible vantage points globally. The important point about this event is that widely speaking, it is known as a hybrid solar eclipse. However, in Exmouth, visitors will witness a total solar eclipse. At about 11:27 am the sun, moon and the earth's discs will all align for this significant 1 minute, 16-second event. The best viewing point will be between the Exmouth townsite and Learmonth Airport.

The North West Cape in Exmouth will also be the only region on mainland Australia to sit on the path of the April 2023 solar eclipse, and one of only four locations worldwide.

This remote and spectacular part of the globe will be on the world scene as up to 50,000 visitors are expected to descend on the town, which normally boasts a population of 2,700, chasing a short glimpse of this solar eclipse. The last event was in the United States in 2017 in the town of Madras, Oregon.  

The eclipse, of which the next one will be in 2031, is also expected to benefit the Western Australian economy.

Carol Redford, who founded Astrotourism WA in 2018 and is the organiser of Stargazers Club WA, said while every year there were eclipses where the moon partially or totally covered the sun, this one is "when the moon is just at the right distance that it only just covers the disc of the sun, and what happens is the light that is coming from the sun still comes through all the mountains and craters on the side of the moon," she said.

Learn more about a Hybrid Solar Eclipse - Source: Australia's Coral Coast 

HOW DOES CARNARVON and coral bay HAVE A ROLE IN THIS EVENT? 

Carnarvon is the gateway to the Ningaloo region, being centrally located between Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Areas. The Total Solar Eclipse is expected to attract up to 50,000 visitors to the region. Carnarvon and Coral Bay will play a major part in accommodating visitors wishing to travel to the event in Exmouth.

For Carnarvon, there is a bigger picture here. Carnarvon has a known history of space, and with the only Space and Technology Museum located right here in Carnarvon, there is an opportunity to promote Carnarvon to the world and capitalise on massive visitation and media attention to the region. 

WHAT'S NEXT? 

The Shire of Carnarvon has been working with key stakeholders to identify the risks and opportunities associated with this event. It has come the time to share what we know with our local businesses and tourism operators who will significantly be impacted by this iconic natural event. 

You're invited to attend an information session with Jim Sharp, Executive Chair of the Eclipse and Kelsie Johnston, Director at Tourism WA and a workshop with Carol Redford, founder of Astrotourism WA on Thursday 18 November at the Council Chambers on Stuart Street from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. 

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