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Perth Invited to NASA Sungazing Ahead of WA Total Solar Eclipse
April 14, 2023

Perth Invited to NASA Sungazing Ahead of WA Total Solar Eclipse

Perth is invited to join NASA for a sungazing event at Kings Park next week to celebrate the WA Total Solar Eclipse.

Two telescopes will be set up for public viewing at Fraser Circle, Fraser Avenue on Monday April 17 from 9:00am-11:00am with Dr Henry Throop, a Program Scientist in NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

Dr Throop manages NASA’s science programs in the outer solar system and is visiting WA for the eclipse on Thursday April 20.

In preparation for the eclipse, people of all ages will have the opportunity to see the sun’s surface close up through a dedicated solar telescope. Dr Throop will also be distributing free eclipse glasses provided by NASA, which will enable safe viewing of the April 20 eclipse.

Dr Throop said he was excited to share the experience with the WA community.

“Watching the eclipse is a great way to understand our place in the universe and deepen everyone’s connection to the world around us. Every place on Earth sees a total eclipse eventually, but for this one, Western Australia is the winner,” Dr Throop said.

“The more we improve our understanding of the solar system, the more our lives improve here on Earth. It’s fantastic that Australia and NASA can cooperate in studying this amazing eclipse.”

U.S. Consul General Siriana Nair said the event shows the vibrancy of the U.S and Australia’s strong space partnerships.

“Australia and the U.S. have been working together in space for over 65 years, including here in WA. Space inspires us all, but I hope this opportunity particularly ignites the next generation to consider a future in STEM.”

Across Australia, the moon will partially cover the sun on April 20. The sun will be approximately 70% covered in Perth, 15% in Brisbane and 5% in Hobart. However, along a narrow path centered on Exmouth, the moon will completely cover the sun at 11:29am AWST, causing the sun to essentially vanish from the sky, before re-emerging one minute later.


  • Weather conditions: During the pre-eclipse solar viewing on April 17, the sun’s surface will be easily visible through telescopes if the skies are clear. If partly cloudy, viewing will be paused until the sun is visible. In the event of ongoing cloud or rain, Dr Throop will instead discuss the WA eclipse and answer questions from the public.
  • It is never safe to look directly at the sun, even if the sun is partly covered. During the partial eclipse on April 20, only use certified eclipse glasses to look directly at the sun – regular sunglasses will be too bright. Viewers can also observe the partial eclipse by looking on the ground at the light that passes through a pinhole punched in a card, or the shadows cast by leaves on the ground.

Public Event Details

  • Date: Monday April 17, 2023
  • Time: 9:00am-11.00am
  • Location: Fraser Circle on Fraser Avenue, Kings Park

Background & Resources

  • Dr Henry Throop: biography (including headshot)
  • Imagery: Kings Park photo album
  • U.S.-Australia space partnerships: NASA and Australia share significant history and continue to cooperate today. In Western Australia, NASA scientists have conducted fieldwork in the Pilbara region, which is home to some of the world’s most ancient fossils and stromatolites and is a crucial area to help develop our understanding of the origin and evolution of planet Earth.