The longest total solar eclipse to occur in the 21st century

Solar eclipse animate (2009-Jul-22)

Image

Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
Type of eclipse
Gamma: 0.0696
Magnitude: 1.0799
Saros: 136 (37 of 71)

Maximum eclipse

Duration: 398 s (6 min 38.8 s)
Location: Pacific Ocean
Coordinates: 24°12?36?N 144°06?24?E / 24.21°N 144.10667°E
Max. width of band: 258.4 km

Times (UTC)

Partial eclipse 23:58:18 (Jul 21)
Total eclipse 00:51:16
Central eclipse 00:54:31
Greatest eclipse 02:35:21

The solar eclipse of July 22, 2009 was the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting as much as 6 minutes and 39 seconds in some places. It caused tourist interest in eastern China, Nepal and India.

The eclipse was part of saros series 136, like the record-setting solar eclipse of July 11, 1991. 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.

This was the second in the series of three eclipses in a month, with the lunar eclipse on July 7 and the lunar eclipse on August 6.

Visibility
It was visible from a narrow corridor through northern Maldives, northern Pakistan and northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.

Totality was visible in many large cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Dinajpur, Siliguri, Tawang, Guwahati, Chengdu, Nanchong, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Wuhan, Huanggang, Hefei, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Huzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo and Shanghai, as well as over the Three Gorges Dam. According to some experts, Taregana in Bihar, India was expected to be the “best” place to view the event.
A partial eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon’s penumbra, including most of Southeast Asia (all of India and China) and north-eastern Oceania.

Duration

This solar eclipse was the longest total solar eclipse to occur in the 21st century, and will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 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.

Reaction
Indian scientists today observed solar eclipse from fighter jets. Fighter jets were pressed into service to allow Indian scientists study solar eclipse from the sky. The Chinese government used the opportunity to provide scientific education and to dispel any superstition. Since the solar eclipse occurred almost exactly 10 years after the Falun Gong movement was banned, it was feared that Falun Gung would use this event to show that the heavens is displeased with the Chinese government.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_July_22,_2009

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