Sunday, July 5, 2009

Total solar eclipse of this century on Wednesday 22 July 2009

The total solar eclipse of this century is going to occur On Wednesday 22 July 2009. This could be a longest duration solar eclipse of this century. Consequently, it provides a rare opportunity to view and study this grand spectacle of nature. The partial phase of the eclipse will be visible throughout the country. In general, the partial phase can be seen in the regions of eastern Asia and Pacific Ocean. Considering the Earth as a whole, the eclipse begins at 5:28 a.m. when the shadow of the Moon touches the Earth at local sunrise at a point in the Arabian Sea close to the western coast of India.

The shadow crosses over central India, passes through south-east of Nepal, crosses North Bengal, southern part of Sikkim, most of Bhutan and north-western tip of Bangladesh. Then the shadow enters Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, touches Myanmar and enters China.

The eclipse ends at 10:42 a.m. when Moon's shadow finally leaves the Earth at local sunset at a point in the South Pacific Ocean. At approximately 6:23 a.m., the central path of the eclipse will touch the Earth at sunrise at a point in the Gulf of Khmbhat in the Arabian Sea near the southern coast of Gujarat. At this time, the path of totality will be about 200 km wide and the duration of totality at the central line will be about three minute 30 seconds.

This eclipse is of special interest for the scientists and general public as its path of totality passes through thickly populated regions of west, central, east and north-east India. The maximum duration of totality of 6 minutes 44 seconds occurs at 8:05 a.m. in the North Pacific Ocean where the width of the path is about 258 km. The rest of the path does not pass through major land areas.


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