Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

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Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
Solar eclipse 22 July 2009 taken by Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar from Bangladesh.jpg
Totality from Kurigram District, Bangladesh
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration399 sec (6 m 39 s)
Coordinates24°12′N 144°06′E / 24.2°N 144.1°E / 24.2; 144.1
Max. width of band258 km (160 mi)
Times (UTC)
(P1) Partial begin23:58:18
(U1) Total begin0:51:16
Greatest eclipse2:36:25
(U4) Total end4:19:26
(P4) Partial end5:12:25
Saros136 (37 of 71)
Catalog # (SE5000)9528

A total solar eclipse occurred at the Moon’s descending node of the orbit on July 22, 2009 with a magnitude of 1.0799. It was the longest total solar eclipse during the 21st century, the longest total solar eclipse during the 3rd millennium will be on 16 July 2186. It lasted a maximum of 6 minutes and 38.86 seconds off the coast of Southeast Asia,[1] causing tourist interest in eastern China, Pakistan, Japan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

This is the second eclipse this season.

First eclipse this season: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of July 7, 2009

Third eclipse this season: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of August 6, 2009[1][2][3]

It was the 37th eclipse of the 136th Saros cycle, which began with a partial eclipse on June 14, 1360 and will conclude with a partial eclipse on July 30, 2622.


A partial eclipse was seen within the broad path of the Moon's penumbra, including most of Southeast Asia (all of Pakistan, India and China) and north-eastern Oceania.

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 the northern part of the Ryukyu Islands, the whole Volcano Islands except South Iwo Jima, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati.

Totality was visible in many large cities, including Dhaka and Dinajpur, and Chapai Nawabganj district in Bangladesh; Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Gaya, Siliguri, Tawang and Guwahati in India; and Chengdu, Nanchong, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Wuhan, Huanggang, Hefei, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Huzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo, Shanghai 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.[4][5] According to NASA, the Japanese island Kitaio Jima was predicted to have the best viewing conditions[6][7] 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 eclipse, and the reaction of thousands of observers at Varanasi was captured by the Science Channel Wonders of the Universe series hosted by Brian Cox.[8]

This eclipse may be the most-viewed total solar eclipse in history, with 30 million people in Shanghai and Hangzhou alone.[9]


Crowds gather on the ghats of Ganges for the eclipse in Varanasi, India.

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.[10]

View from a boat in Ganges

Indian scientists observed the solar eclipse from an Indian Air Force plane.[11]

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.

In Bangladesh, where the eclipse lasted approximately 3 minutes and 44 seconds, thousands of people were able to witness the eclipse despite rain and overcast skies.


These identically scaled photos compare the apparent diameter of the full moon (near apogee) to the nearly new moon (visible by earthshine) on the day before the solar eclipse near lunar perigee.

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 38.86 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.[12]

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.[13] 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[14] 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[edit]

Animation of eclipse path

The Terrain Mapping Camera in the Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission was used to image the earth during the eclipse.[15]

It was also observed by the Japanese geostationary satellite MTSAT:[16]

12:30 UT (pre-eclipse)

1:30 UT
Solar eclipse July 2009 NOAA.jpg
Close up at 1:30 UT

Related eclipses[edit]

Eclipses of 2009[edit]

This total eclipse the second in the series of three eclipses in a one-month period, with two minor penumbral lunar eclipses, first on July 7 and last on August 6.




Solar eclipses 2008–2011[edit]

This eclipse is a member of a semester series. An eclipse in a semester series of solar eclipses repeats approximately every 177 days and 4 hours (a semester) at alternating nodes of the Moon's orbit.[17]

Saros series[edit]

Solar Saros 136, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, contains 71 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on June 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, 7.74 seconds. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon’s descending node.[18]

Metonic cycle[edit]

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). All eclipses in this table occur at the Moon's descending node.


  1. ^ a b (AFP) – 6 days ago. "AFP: Solar eclipse sparks tourism fever in China". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  2. ^ "Scientists: China the best place to observe longest solar eclipse in 2,000 years_English_Xinhua". 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  3. ^ "Indian students on solar eclipse 'odyssey' to China – Yahoo! India News". Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  4. ^ 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". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  5. ^ Weather conditions for cities in China during the July 22 eclipse (in Chinese)
  6. ^ "NASA Map" (PDF).
  7. ^ Espenak, Fred. "Total Solar Eclipse of July 2009" (PDF).
  8. ^ "The Solar Eclipse In Varanasi - Wonders of the Solar System - Series 1 Episode 1 Preview - BBC Two". YouTube.
  9. ^ "Solar Eclipse on July 22 May Be Most Viewed Ever".
  10. ^ "Indians enthralled by solar eclipse". 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  12. ^ "Island « Total Eclipse.Jp". Archived from the original on 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  13. ^ "August 2, 2027 Total Solar Eclipse". Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  14. ^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (3 July 2009). "Perihelion and Aphelion". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  15. ^ "Chandrayaan-1". ISRO. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  16. ^ "Eclipse Shadows Southeastern China : Image of the Day".
  17. ^ van Gent, R.H. "Solar- and Lunar-Eclipse Predictions from Antiquity to the Present". A Catalogue of Eclipse Cycles. Utrecht University. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  18. ^ SEsaros136 at


Pre-eclipse news:


External links[edit]