total solar eclipseThe Earth will get a rare treat on Tuesday, November 13 when a total solar eclipse will be visible from the northern part of Australia. The solar eclipse -- technically on November 14 down in Australia -- will begin on Tuesday at 3:35 p.m. EST. But fear not, you won't need a ticket to the land down under to see it. 

The Internet to the rescue! Live streams of the solar event will be available on the web at places like Space.com. But what exactly is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking out the sun as the moon traverses across the sky. There are also partial and annular solar eclipses where only a part of the sun is obscured. While the total solar eclipse is, in my opinion, the most amazing of these, the annular one -- where the moon is surrounded by a "ring of fire" -- is also pretty neat.

Well, I love them all, actually. They're only visible during the "new moon" phase of the moon -- which is not to be confused with the Twilight variety of New Moon. (In which Edward breaks up with Bella. Bella gets real sad, and Jacob makes his move. I'm sure you already knew all that ...) The moon-term refers to the time when the moon is closest to the sun in the sky.

We're not due for a solar eclipse here in North America until May 2013, when the west coast states should get to see a "ring of fire" eclipse. The North Atlantic won't get a total solar eclipse again until 2015, so tomorrow's eclipse is indeed a rare and special event for us earthlings. (The Mars rover is actually really jealous.)

Here's a full list of places you can tune in online to watch the eclipse.

Will you try and see the solar eclipse?

 

Image via shehal/Flickr