Slip into the stream to watch today’s solar eclipse

During a total solar eclipse, the moon gets exactly between the Earth and sun and casts a narrow, dark shadow called the umbra across a 95-mile-wide swath of Earth. Anyone living in the path of the umbra – moon’s shadow – will see a total eclipse. Credit: Windows to the Universe

Heads up. This afternoon U.S. time, residents of northern Australia and countless tourists on land and sea will witness a total eclipse of the sun. You will too if you check out one of the live streaming sites listed below. Since most of the streams originate in or near Cairns, Queensland, here are the times (in Central Standard) to watch. The sun will only be a degree above the horizon at eclipse start and just 14 degrees (a fist and a half) high during totality:

* Start of partial eclipse – 1:45 p.m. CST today
* Start of total eclipse – 2:38 p.m.
* End of total eclipse – 2:40 p.m.
* End of partial eclipse – 3:40 p.m.

LIVE STREAMS:
* University of North Dakota SEMS U-Stream
* Gorge Creek Orchards, Mareeba, North Australia
* Total solar eclipse carried by NASA
* Total solar eclipse from Oak Beech near Cairns, Queensland

The 95-mile-wide path of totality stretches from tip of Australia’s Northern Territory through Queensland and then across the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately the forecast for the best land-viewing sites calls for mostly cloudy skies with only occasional breaks. For more on the viewing the eclipse, check out Joe Cali’s Waiting for the Shadow or NASA’s Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 Nov 13 sites.

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