Then the eclipse path moves southeast across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Queensland, darkening the skies over towns such as Mitchell River and Palmerville before reaching the coastal city of Cairns at 3:39 p.m. EST (2039 GMT).
Shortly after sunrise, skywatchers in Cairns will witness a total solar eclipse lasting two minutes.
From Cairns, the moon’s shadow will cruise out into the vast Pacific Ocean, with the total eclipsefinally petering out 610 miles (980 kilometers) west-northwest of Santiago, Chile, at 6:48 p.m. EST (2348 GMT).
The eclipse’s path of totality is about 108 miles (174 km) wide and covers 9,000 miles (14,500 km) over a three-hour period.
The next total solar eclipse occurs in March 2015 and will be visible from some areas in the North Atlantic region, such as Norway’s Svalbard Islands.
However, a so-called “hybrid” eclipse — which shifts between total and annular at different points on the globe — will come to parts of the Atlantic and central Africa in November 2013.
Floods have hit New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria in Australia.
Wagga Wagga in New South Wales is badly hit by the disaster.
About 9,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the city of Wagga Wagga and its surrounds where the Murrumbidgee is predicted to peak at 10.9 metres (36 feet), right on the levee’s limit, at 6:00 pm (0800 GMT).
Floodwaters are expected to breach the levee this evening, Tuesday March 6, 2012.