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Astronomers are gathering in Timor-Leste to observe a rare kind of solar eclipse

Thursday’s Ningaloo Eclipse will occur just seven times this century and can only be seen from a few places on Earth.

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Thursday’s Ningaloo Eclipse will occur just seven times this century and can only be seen from a few places on Earth.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

A delegation of more than 25 regional astronomers is travelling to Timor-Leste to observe a total solar eclipse on Thursday, Portugal’s news agency Lusa reports.

The researchers, from Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, will base themselves at the seaside village of Com, near the eastern extremity of the country, to study the so-called  Ningaloo Eclipse.

The phenomenon is mostly observable at sea, according to the BBC’s Sky at Night magazine. On land, it will only be observable from parts of Western Australia, Timor-Leste and West Papua.

[See more: Timor-Leste’s airline Aero Dili has made its first international flight]

Hakim Malasan, secretary general of the Southeast Asia Astronomy Network, said the group would conduct various experiments at Com and also “do a small workshop with the community and local students about this phenomenon”.

He explained that the group “chose to come to Timor-Leste, because the forecast is that the cloud cover is 55 percent or less, which is preferable to other places where the coverage can exceed 75 percent”.

The Asian astronomers will be working with teams from the National University of East Timor.

The Ningaloo Eclipse will only occur seven times this century, the BBC says, and will be observable from Com on Thursday at 1:21 pm local time.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:26 am

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