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It’s a Total Eclipse of the Marine Park

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At 11.29am (AWST) today, thousands of people in Exmouth had a front-row seat for the 2023 Total Solar Eclipse. As the shadow of the moon passed over the Ningaloo (Nyinggulu) region in Western Australia, locals and visitors witnessed a 62-second ‘light show’, which put viewers in total darkness.

Western Australia’s endless sunshine with perfect skies set the best conditions for viewing of the Total Solar Eclipse. Whilst Exmouth was in complete darkness for just over a minute, the rest of Western Australia has also experienced a partial solar eclipse. For example, the town of Onslow in the Pilbara has experienced a deep partial solar eclipse with more than 99 percent of the sun being covered by the moon, whilst those in Perth saw 72 percent coverage.

A Total Solar Eclipse occurs somewhere on Earth every 18 months, however, it is incredibly rare for them to pass over land, and in a place with the natural significance of Western Australia’s World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park. Exmouth and the Ningaloo region is an awe-inspiring place, home to Australia’s largest fringing reef and the dramatic gorges of Cape Range National Park.

Pink Floyd also celebrated the 50th anniversary of its classic album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON with a once-in-a-lifetime listening event for eight lucky fans, timed to align with the album’s famous final words “and the sun is eclipsed by the moon” at the moment of total eclipse – an extraordinary moment, in the most otherworldly of surrounds.

With 80 percent of the world’s population now living under a light-polluted sky, Western Australia’s vast open landscapes and low-level light pollution means it has one of the darkest night skies on the planet and one of the best places in the world to watch the stars, sun and moon journey across the sky.

The 2023 Total Solar Eclipse is one of four significant eclipses occurring in Western Australia over the next 15 years, with Durack in 2028, Geraldton in 2037 and Onslow in 2038 providing excitement for years to come.

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