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Eclipse excitement builds


Eclipse excitement builds as 60,000 prepare for the event of the millennium

An estimated 60,000 scientists, astronomers and umbraphiles (eclipse chasers) from around the globe are heading to Queensland, Australia to witness the first total eclipse over the Great Barrier Reef in more than 1300 years.

At 6.38am Queensland time this Wednesday November 14, all eyes will turn to the heavens over Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to experience a rare total solar eclipse, made even rarer as the path of “totality” will fall over a major global tourism destination.

Scientific groups from around the world including NASA, the European Space Agency, UK and Asia will view the eclipse from land, sea and air, from hot air balloons, beaches and Great Barrier Reef islands, cruise ships and dive boats.

Three charter flights with 1200 scientists will arrive from Japan, six cruise ships will be moored off the Queensland coast and other scientists will study the effects of the eclipse on the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s rainforest birds and animals.

Psychologists and astrologists will also study the effects of the eclipse on humans as natural phenomena such as eclipses are documented for provoking strong emotional responses (the eclipse occurs during the astrological period of Scorpio rising).

Tourism Queensland will produce some incredible visual images and footage of the eclipse, including aerials of hot air balloons, the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, a time lapse sequence, and the atmosphere of the event as seen through the eyes of some of the scientists and eclipse chasers.

Two domestic (both to be fed at 1330 Queensland local time) and one international VNR package, plus stills will be available free to media.

Vision of the solar eclipse in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef will be available on the Thomson Reuters World News Express platform by approx. 0500 GMT on the 14th.

The package will contain vision of the eclipse from a number of sources (TV camera, telescope, helicopter, time lapse) as well as vox pops, scientist interviews and general colour of the festivities surrounding this event.

The following will also be available to media from or by emailing

Tuesday November 13 – eclipse-eve images and radio grabs featuring scientists, eclipse-chasers, and eclipse set-up will be available from approximately 1.30pm Queensland time and approximately 9.00pm Queensland time.

Wednesday November 14 – eclipse images, radio grabs and vision will be available throughout the day from approximately 8.00am Queensland time.

Further information on the 2012 eclipse, including where to view the eclipse live online, can be found at

© Scoop Media

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