The Eclipse of the Century, 22 July 2009

11 Aug 1999 Eclipse (Photo: Luc Viatour, www.lucnix.be)

Presenting…. the main event!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 — mark this date in your diaries because almost ten years after that historic eclipse of August 1999 in Europe, another event of equally great magnitude will occur — this time in ASIA.

On July 22, 2009 a total solar eclipse will be visible in northern India, Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.

A partial eclipse will be seen in the larger part of Asia, including most of Southeast Asia, and even parts of Oceania.

What makes this event so special? 

This will be the longest total eclipse of the 21st century. 

Totality, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun, will last for a whopping 6 minutes and 39 seconds, and it will happen at 02:35:21 UTC.

How rare is such a long total eclipse? This duration will not be surpassed until June 13, 2132. Even if you live an exceptionally full and long life, that’s over a hundred years later.

In comparison, the total eclipse for last year’s event on August 1, 2008 lasted just 2 minutes.

The spectacular sight of this total eclipse can be experienced in many cities, such as Surat, Varanasi, Patna, Thimphu, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Shanghai, as well as over the Three Gorges Dam.

Solar Eclipse 22 July 2009 (Author: AT Sinclair)

Astronomy buffs and eclipse enthusiasts plan these trips years in advance, and many have already secured their tickets and accommodations to their various destinations. If you live anywhere near these places, you have just a month left to secure your ticket.

Good luck.

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7 Responses to “The Eclipse of the Century, 22 July 2009”

  1. 160 Says:

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  2. elle Says:

    I was working in the countryside in the UK during the 1999 eclipse. We stopped work and ran outside to watch it.

    My clearest memory is that a few minutes before it started everything – all the birds, animals and insects – fell completely silent. It was v eerie and made the eclipse seem much more mystical.

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