Solar Eclipse July 22 2009 will be longest in the 21st century
The solar eclipse that will occur on July 22, 2009, will be a total eclipse and also the longest of the 21st century.
The best place to watch the eclipse will be in China, and some astronomers and enthusiasts are already planning their trip over there.
Also check out our list of the 5 Best Sites to Watch the July 22, 2009 Total Solar Eclipse Online
Harshad Abhyankar, a software professional and an amateur astronomer, says, "Watching the solar eclipse in totality is a different experience altogether, and so I decided to go to China. The eclipse will be seen in parts of India, but the country will be in the midst of monsoon then and so it is a risk," he says.
Places in India where the eclipse would be visible are Surat, Indore, Bhopal and Varanasi among others.
The eclipse will be over the Pacific Ocean but the best place to watch it will be from China, and tour operators have already started filling up with bookings.
A total eclipse will be visible in Surat, Varanasi, Patna, Thimphu, Chengdu, Chongqing, Whuan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. A partial eclipse will be visible in South East Asia and north-eastern Oceania.
The next solar eclipse of this magnitude will be June 13, 2132. This eclipse will last about 6 minutes and 39 seconds.
It was 90 years ago May 21st that British scientist Arthur Eddington left Britain to journey to the island of Principe on the West African coast to view a total solar eclipse.
There is an expedition from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh that will journey to Principe to view the total solar eclipse on July 22nd.
The journey was made in 1919 to try and prove or disprove Einstein's theory of relativity.
In the aftermath of World War One, Eddington's journey to Principe took six weeks by steam ship. He frequently wrote home and his archives at Trinity College, Cambridge, tell an adventure from a forgotten age.
Eddington got stuck on Madeira for three weeks, when all the ships were full of returning troops. Amid ongoing rationing in Britain, the sugar and exotic fruits were welcome relief.
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