North will get best view of eclipse

20:05, Dec 18 2012

Northland is a prime spot for viewing today's partial solar eclipse.

The eclipse will start over Australia just after sunrise and be visible as a partial or 87 per cent eclipse here beginning at 9.18am, reaching maximum coverage at 10.28am, and ending at 11.44am.

The best view will be in Northland - 89.4 per cent - at Cape Reinga where it will start at 9.35am.

Deborah Hambly from Skydome Observatory at Baylys Beach says Northland is closer to the central path which means a better view.

"I'm really excited about it.

"It will be the closest to a total eclipse that I've ever witnessed, it's going to be pretty dark." An eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun casting a shadow on the Earth.

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The northern parts of Australia are the only land areas that will experience the total eclipse.

There will not be a better eclipse in New Zealand until 2035.

The Skydome Observatory will be open for viewing from 9.15am till 11.30am. $8 adults, $4 children. Special filters used 9.15am to 11.30.

Warning: Special optical filters must be used. Do not look at the Sun with the naked eye or you risk blindness. See: stardome.org.nz/

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