It was a relief for skywatchers Tuesday in Australia when the clouds that threatened to shield a highly anticipated solar eclipse parted.
"Immediately before, I was thinking, `Are we gonna see this?' And we just had a fantastic display - it was just beautiful," Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, who has seen a dozen total solar eclipses over the years, said according to the Associated Press. "And right after it finished, the clouds came back again. It really adds to the drama of it."
The event, which occurred just after dawn, was the last total eclipse until March 2015. The totality of the eclipse, which lasted for a little more than two minutes, was visible in Australia's northern territory, while partial eclipses were seen from east Indonesia, the eastern half of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and southern parts of Chile and Argentina.
Here are 13 photos of the event and the masses of skywatchers taking it all in:
If those photos weren't enough, to give you an idea of the popularity of the event, more than 50,000 people headed to Queensland to watch the celestial phenomenon. Regional Director of Queensland Tourism Jeff Gillies told the Associated Press some hotels have been booked solid for the last three years in anticipation.
"It was absolutely amazing. We were coming out this morning and there was a wee bit of cloud around and we were apprehensive," Adam O'Malley of the Passions of Paradise dive company said by phone from his boat. "We got a full view - absolutely breathtaking."
Watch this AFP report of the eclipse with reaction from viewers:
This ITN News report shows time-lapsed footage of the total eclipse:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.