Total Solar Eclipse of 13 Nov 2012 over north part of NT and Qld.

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Total Solar Eclipse of 13 Nov 2012 over north part of NT and Qld.
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 23:30:42 +1100
A mention in passing by another contributor lead me to the knowledge of a
Total Solar Eclipse of 13 Nov 2012 over the northern part of NT and Qld. To
see where and some details, try this link:
Although my quick reading of the map shows that at Cairns, the duration of
the whole thing is nearly 3 hours but with totality at only about 4 seconds,
the effective greatly reduced light period is probably under a minute. This
compared to the event near Melbourne in 1976 with totality of about 2.5
minutes. Also it appears to be in early morning in Australia, so the impact
of a false dawn shortly after dawn may not produce much of a reaction from
the birds as they would still be in dawn type behaviour (unlike mid
afternoon in the 1976 event). The behaviour of birds during a total solar
eclipse have certainly been among the highlights of a (so far) lifetime of
bird observing for me. Apart from being a fascinating event anyway. I have
always wanted to repeat it. My background goes way back to the planning for
"Operation Blackout" run by Monash University with a fund from the Victorian
government in early 1976 that lead to my paper Veerman, P.A. (1982) 'A
record of avian and other responses to the total solar eclipse - 23 October
1976', Australian Bird Watcher 9: 179-209. (which is the world's biggest
analysis of animal behaviour to a solar eclipse.) That lead to an invitation
to me to attend and present at a Eclipse conference in California a few
years ago (that sadly fell through because they found they couldn't actually
afford to pay the promised travel and accommodation costs for me to attend).

That gives me something to maybe plan another trip for. I am not sure which
would be the best place to go, north part of NT or north Qld. Cairns looks
easiest. I have only been to NT once for the RAOU congress in 1981 and only
to Cairns once in 2005, for the BA conference. I wonder whether local people
would be interested in being involved. Or indeed anyone from anywhere using
the event as a special excuse to go to these places.

I'm really interested to do that although I have no idea how to afford it. I
suppose there is nearly a year to save up.

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

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