Observing an eclipse is a special experience most skywatchers — and scientists — never forget. Tuesday's event will be the 56th solar eclipse that Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff has seen in his career, for example, but he still finds each one thrilling.
"Oh, each one is very exciting — each in its own way," Pasachoff told SPACE.com via email. "It is very wonderful to be uncovering part of the mysteries about the sun's atmosphere and magnetic field, and to be outdoors surrounded by the darkening of a solar eclipse is a primally fabulous experience."
The eclipse isn't the only celestial treat skywatchers can look forward to this week. The annual Leonid meteor shower, which has produced some truly spectacular shows over the years, peaks overnight Saturday (Nov. 17).
Editor's note: If you are along the eclipse path in Australia or elsewhere and snap an amazing photo of Tuesday's total solar eclipse that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please send images, comments and location information to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.
- Total Solar Eclipse of 2012: November's Sun Spectacle Explained (Gallery)
- Solar Eclipses: An Observer's Guide (Infographic)
- Total Solar Eclipse Photos Helps Predict Sun Cycle | Video
Copyright 2012 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.