Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
|Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009|
|Type of eclipse|
|Duration||399 sec (6 m 39 s)|
|Max. width of band||258 km (160 mi)|
|(P1) Partial begin||23:58:18|
|(U1) Total begin||0:51:16|
|(U4) Total end||4:19:26|
|(P4) Partial end||5:12:25|
|Saros||136 (37 of 71)|
|Catalog # (SE5000)||9528|
A total solar eclipse occurred on July 22, 2009. It was the longest total solar eclipse during the 21st century, not to be surpassed until 13 June 2132. It lasted a maximum of 6 minutes and 39 seconds off the coast of Southeast Asia, causing tourist interest in eastern China, Japan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The total eclipse was visible from a narrow corridor through northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including northern part of the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati.
Totality was visible in many large cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Gaya, Dinajpur, Siliguri, Guwahati, Tawang in India and Chengdu, Nanchong, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Wuhan, Huanggang, Hefei, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Huzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo, Shanghai, Chapai Nawabganj as well as over the Three Gorges Dam in China. However, in Shanghai, the largest city in the eclipse's path, the view was obscured by heavy clouds. According to NASA, the Japanese island Kitaio Jima was predicted to have the best viewing conditions featuring both longer viewing time (being the closest point of land to the point of greatest eclipse) and lower cloud cover statistics than all of continental Asia. The Indian city of Varanasi had similar conditions to those in Kitaio Jima; although the eclipse was the longest there than anywhere else.
This eclipse may be the most-viewed total solar eclipse in history, with 30 million people in Shanghai and Hangzhou alone.
Thousands of pilgrims gathered on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India to experience the eclipse as a religious or spiritual event. Some people expected that there would be a relationship, either positive or negative, between their health and the occurrence of the eclipse.
The Chinese government used the opportunity to provide scientific education and to dispel any superstition. A flight by China Eastern Airlines from Wuhan to Shanghai took a slight detour and followed the course of the eclipse to allow longer observation time for the scientists on board.
Observers in Japan were excited by the prospect of experiencing the first eclipse in 46 years, but found the experience dampened by cloudy skies obscuring the view.
Thousands of people of Bangladesh witnessed the longest total solar eclipses of the 21st century on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 defying rain and a heavily overcast sky. Before this a "total solar eclipse observation committee" was formed with Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, Liberation War Museum, Chhayanaut's educational initiative Nalanda, Samannito Shikkha-Sangskriti, Bangladesh Nature Study and Conservation Union, and Cosmic Culture to observe the eclipse. Science initiative Discussion Project coordinated the committee, which set up the main observation camp at Madhupara village and another at the South Plaza of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in Dhaka. With the help of BRB Cable Industries Ltd, the committee also set up observation camps at Bell's Park in Barisal, Akimuddin Gronthagar in Chapai Nawabganj, science and technology university campuses in Syedpur and Gazipur, Jahangirnagar University and Araj Ali Matubbar library at Dania in Dhaka. Akimudin Gronthagar arranged three camps to observe century's one and only solar eclipse of July 22, 2009. 99.56% totality was observed from main camp at Kamat Maath, Binodpur, Chapai Nawabganj. Totality started at 07:57:41BDT and end 3 minutes 44 seconds later. The other two camps were set up at Poddar Paar in Rajshahi and at railway's Dhar in Uttar, Dhaka.
This solar eclipse was the longest total solar eclipse to occur in the 21st century, and will not be surpassed in duration until 13 June 2132. Totality lasted for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with the maximum eclipse occurring in the ocean at 02:35:21 UTC about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan. The uninhabited North Iwo Jima island was the landmass with totality time closest to maximum, while the closest inhabited point was Akusekijima, where the eclipse lasted 6 minutes and 26 seconds.
The cruise ship Costa Classica was chartered specifically to view this eclipse and by viewing the eclipse at the point of maximum duration and cruising along the centerline during the event, duration was extended to 6 minutes, 42 seconds.
The eclipse was part of Saros series 136, as was the solar eclipse of July 11, 1991, which was slightly longer, lasting up to 6 minutes 53 seconds (previous eclipses of the same saros series on June 30, 1973 and June 20, 1955, were longer, lasting 7 min 04 and 7 min 08, respectively). The next event from this series will be on August 2, 2027. The exceptional duration was a result of the Moon being near perigee, with the apparent diameter of the Moon 8% larger than the Sun (magnitude 1.080) and the Earth being near aphelion where the Sun appeared slightly smaller.
In contrast the annular solar eclipse of January 26, 2009 occurred near lunar apogee and 7% smaller apparent diameter to the sun. And the next solar eclipse of January 15, 2010 was also annular, with the Moon 8.1% smaller than the Sun.
View from space
12:30 UT (pre-eclipse)
Close up at 1:30 UT
Solar eclipses 2008–2011
Solar Saros 136, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, contains 71 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on Jun 14, 1360, and reached a first annular eclipse on September 8, 1504. It was a hybrid event from November 22, 1612, through January 17, 1703, and total eclipses from January 27, 1721 through May 13, 2496. The series ends at member 71 as a partial eclipse on July 30, 2622, with the entire series lasting 1262 years. The longest eclipse occurred on June 20, 1955, with a maximum duration of totality at 7 minutes, 8 seconds.
The metonic series repeats eclipses every 19 years (6939.69 days), lasting about 5 cycles. Eclipses occur in nearly the same calendar date. In addition the octon subseries repeats 1/5 of that or every 3.8 years (1387.94 days).
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- 99.56% totality was observed in Kamat Maath, Binodpur, Chapai Nawabgan, the western part of Bangladesh.
In Sichuan province, China, 150 km southwest of Chengdu many people ascended Mount Emei to view the eclipse. While viewing conditions were not ideal due to thick cloud cover, typical of this region and altitude, the effects were reported as impressive. The summit of Mt. Emei contains numerous Buddhist temples and statues, as well as a large candle and incense lighting ceremony/area. During the eclipse day turned to night, leaving only the candles to cast a unique lighting on the adjacent Buddhist statues and buildings.
"NASA – Total Solar Eclipse of 2009 July 22". NASA.gov. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
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- Enewetak, Marshall Islands. Prof. Druckmüller's eclipse photography site
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- The 2009 Eclipse in China
- July 24, 2009, Eclipse over Chongqing, China APOD
- August 8, 2009, Diamonds in a Cloudy Sky, totality in clouds from Wuhan, China APOD
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