Reuters

A rare total eclipse momentarily darkens skies over Australia.

For the first and only time this year, the moon completely covered the sun. Nearly 50,000 people flocked to Cairns, Australia, to witness the event. According to Space:

The last total solar eclipse as viewed from Earth took place in July 2010, and the next one won't occur until March 2015. 

From start to finish, the "total" phase of the solar eclipse lasted about three hours. At Cairns on the northeast Queensland coast, enthusiastic observers saw the moon cover the sun's disk completely for two minutes, beginning at 3:39 p.m. EST. 

Tourists take photographs of a cloudy sky during a full solar eclipse in the northern Australian city of Cairns. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)
Clouds obscure the moon passing in front of the sun as it approaches a full solar eclipse in the northern Australian city of Cairns. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)



Tourist watch as the moon passes in front of the sun as it approaches a full solar eclipse in Australia. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)



Tourists look at a cloudy sky as a full solar eclipse begins in the northern Australian city of Cairns. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)



Rain showers fall as tourists look at a cloudy sky as a full solar eclipse begins in Australia. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)

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