The moon will block the sun Tuesday in a total solar eclipse, but only for spectators in parts of Australia and in the southern Pacific Ocean. For the rest of us, several webcasts will be available to remotely watch the celestial alignment of the sun and moon.
The only total solar eclipse of 2012 will begin Tuesday (Nov. 13) at 3:35 p.m. EST (2035 GMT), though it will be early Wednesday morning (Nov. 14) for observers watching the event in Australia.
The path of totality is about 108 miles (174 kilometers) wide and 9,000 miles (14,500 km) long, and covers a three-hour period. Much of the solar eclipse's path is over the open Pacific Ocean, making it difficult to observe.
For solar fans not in the eclipse's path, the Slooh Space Camera will provide a free webcast of the eclipse from Cairns, Australia, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT). You can see Slooh's stream below, including pre-eclipse events:The Tourism Tropical North Queensland, a tourism bureau, meanwhile, is expecting 60,000 spectators to watch the solar eclipse from Cairns.
It is working with the Astronomical Association of Queensland and NASA to webcast the eclipse. The webcast will begin at 1 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), which corresponds to 5 a.m. local time in Queensland, and will be carried here:
Warning: If you are planning to watch the total solar eclipse in person, be extremely careful. Never look directly at the sun, either with the naked eye or through telescopes or binoculars without the proper filters. To safely view solar eclipses, you can purchase special solar filters or No. 14 welder's glass to wear over your eyes. Standard sunglasses will NOT provide sufficient protection.
Tuesday's solar eclipse is not the only skywatching treat to grace the November skies.
The annual Leonid meteor shower peaks overnight Saturday (Nov. 17), and then flares back up for a later show on Nov. 20, according to SPACE.com's skywatching columnist Joe. Rao. November's skywatching events conclude on Nov. 28 with a penumbral eclipse of the full moon.