Australia Scores Last Total Solar Eclipse Until 2015

A rare total eclipse of the sun will be visible in parts of Australia for two minutes Tuesday.

This Jan. 4, 2011 file photo shows tourists taking pictures at the site of the Giza Pyramids, Egypt during a partial solar eclipse. Solar eclipses typically attract tourists who travel around the world to remote places to witness the celestial phenomenon. Australia is expecting 50,000 visitors for a Nov. 14 solar eclipse that will be visible from the Cairns-Port Douglas area in Queensland.

People in northern Australia will be treated to the first total solar eclipse since 2010, and the last solar eclipse until 2015.

The eclipse is expected to be visible starting at 5:35 a.m. Wednesday morning in Australia (3:35 p.m. EST Tuesday). Much of the eclipse's path runs through uninhabited portions of the Pacific Ocean, but it will be visible to people living in Cairns, a town near the Great Barrier Reef, for approximately two minutes, according to NASA. Several organizations, including, will be streaming video of the event.

Total solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun, resulting in total "daytime darkness" for a few minutes. The next total solar eclipse is expected to occur in March 2015, and will be visible to people in Norway.

Earlier this year, an annular, or "ring of fire" eclipse, was visible in parts of the western United States. Annular eclipses occur when the moon partially blocks the sun, so that only a small ring of light is visible.

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Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at