The moon passes in front of the sun during a full solar eclipse at Palm Grove near the northern Australian city …A rare, complete solar eclipse dominated the northern Australian skyline on Wednesday, shrouding part of the country in complete darkness.
It was the first such eclipse in Australia in 10 years and the last one expected until 2028.
And the moment was almost ruined, as dark clouds hovered over the horizon in the days leading up to the eclipse.
"Immediately before, I was thinking, 'Are we gonna see this?' And we just had a fantastic display—it was just beautiful," Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland told the Associated Press. "And right after it finished, the clouds came back again. It really adds to the drama of it."
An estimated 50,000 spectators were reported to have traveled to Australia to view the eclipse, according to estimates, with hotels saying they had been booking reservations for more than three years. The 95-mile shadow began just after dawn and lasted for about two minutes, with a partial eclipse being visible from as far away as east Indonesia and southern parts of Chile.
In Australia, the eclipse brought out fleets of spectators seeking unique vantage points, with an estimated 40 hot-air balloons filling the sky and a flotilla of cruise ships, sailboats and yachts staking out viewing points near the Great Barrier Reef, according to news.com.au.
"We gambled everything—drove through the rain and didn't even know if the balloon was going to go up," said Hank Harper, who flew his family out from Los Angeles to view the eclipse from the comfort of a hot-air balloon. "It was everything I could have hoped for."
You can watch a video of the eclipse taking place below: