Solar eclipse's path

The last total solar eclipse until 2015 will be visible from Australia nearly to Chile on Tuesday. (NASA / November 13, 2012)

A total solar eclipse will occur over parts of northern Australia and the southern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, and you can watch it from Maryland via a webcast.

The eclipse begins at about 3:35 p.m. EST, with its path starting in Australia's Garig Ganak Barlu National Park in the Northern Territory. The instant of greatest eclipse will be reached at about 5:12 p.m. EST. The eclipse path ends at 6:48 p.m. EDT just west of Chile.

While it won't be visible to many populated areas of the globe, an official broadcast is being done from Cairns, Australia. You can view it here.

While solar eclipses usually occur a few times a year, total eclipses are more rare. Solar eclipses happen when the moon's orbit passes in front of the sun; whether an eclipse is total depends on how close the moon's orbit happens to be to earth. 

Today's is the last total eclipse until 2015. A total eclipse will next be visible from the U.S. in 2017, according to NASA.

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