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Total Solar Eclipse

​​Corona of the 2012 Total Solar Eclipse

During the week of the Far-North Queensland (FNQ) Total Solar Eclipse in November 2012, over 100 students from across Queensland and Japan took up the opportunity to participate and interact with professional astronomers from the US, France and Australia through lectures, workshops and astronomy related activities as part of the school’s International Student Astronomy Education Conference.

Of course, the high-light of the conference was always going to be witnessing the rare and unique event of a Total Solar Eclipse.  The day before the eclipse, two buses and a convoy of cars and 4x4s headed out from the conference centre at Lake Tinaroo for our destination at Maitland Downs; a private cattle property situated on the Totality Centre-line.  The morning of the eclipse was majestic with not a cloud in the sky, which made for a memorable and exhilarating experience as the Moon began its assault on the view of the Sun’s disk through our telescopes and eclispe glasses.
A combined ‘deep sigh’ was all to be heard at the beginning of the 2 mins and 3 sec of totality – even the birds went silent.  Dr Carl Pennypacker (USA), Prof Graeme White, Dr Allan Ernest, Dr Tom Bopp (USA), Rob Hollow, Capt. Ralph Smith, Michel Faye (France), Dr Michael Ruscoe (MD), Dr Ashley Peake (MD) & Dr Geoff Chapman were some of the professionals that witnessed that remarkable event with the students.

    Just before the eclipse.

Workshops, lectures, activities and solar and dark-sky viewing sessions were held for the rest on the conference out at the Tinaroo Active Recreation Centre at Lake Tinaroo.

See our photo gallery below for more photos on the 2012 total solar eclispe and conference.​

Dawn preparation before eclipseDawn preparations before eclipse 2012Ralph Smith preparing telescopes at dawn before eclipse.Rob Hollow prepares for the eclipseFist partial between C1 and C2.Carl Pennypacker prepares for totality.Partial eclipse approaching totalityPartial eclipse close to totality - diffraction shimmering Projector showing close to totalityObservers watching projector image close to totalityProjector shot showing close to C2 totalityPartial projector shotShot of observers just after totality between C3 & C4.Shot of partial just before totality through telescope.Full disk shot of partial eclipse through telescope.Corona visible during totalityBobby-Lee Stephens, Adam Nairn & Grace Lawrence (L to R) - team leaders for conference.The original eclipse team viewing the eclipse through glasses.Photo of original team for eclipse conference planning.Photo of eclipse up close at partial through telescopeShot of prominence during eclipse.Photo of eclipse team - national and international students and astronomers.