SOLAR ECLIPSE 2023

On April 20, 2023, at around 11:27 am, the path of totality will graze the tip of Western Australia in a 40-kilometre wide track along the Gascoyne coastline, making it the most accessible land based place on Earth to view the spectacle.

Visitors to the Gascoyne region will have front row seats for one of nature’s most phenomenal occurrences – a solar eclipse – with Exmouth experiencing 62 seconds of totality as the sun is completely blocked by the Moon. The town of Coral Bay will experience a deep partial solar eclipse with over 99 per cent of the sun covered by the moon. Those south of Exmouth in Carnarvon will witness 97 per cent coverage, whilst in Perth, it will be a 72 per cent coverage.

So, what will Astor-enthusiasts see? Chief Astronomer at the Gravity Discovery Centre Rick Tonello explains. “Observers can expect to see the Sun’s bright disc slowly being covered by the silhouette of the Moon to produce a diminishing solar crescent. Just as the last of the Sun disappears behind the Moon, an interesting optical phenomenon known as Baily’s Beads or the Diamond Ring Effect will occur, where the final rays of sunlight pass between the rugged Lunar topography,” Rick said. “The process of the Moon moving across the face of the Sun takes hours, but the brief moment of totality when the Moon completely obscures the Sun will only last a total of 62 seconds!

Whilst Exmouth is in complete darkness for just over a minute, the rest of Western Australia will experience a partial solar eclipse, with some locations experiencing more ‘darkness’ than others.

Accommodation in Exmouth is heavily booked, so Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Gascoyne Junction will be the host for visitors wishing to travel to see the solar eclipse. Western Australia is the dark sky tourism capital of Australia, and one of the best places in the world to watch the stars, sun and moon journey across the sky.