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Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009


Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009
Totality from Kurigram, Bangladesh
Type of eclipse
Nature Total
Gamma 0.0698
Magnitude 1.0799
Maximum eclipse
Duration 399 sec (6 m 39 s)
Max. width of band 258 km (160 mi)
Times (UTC)
(P1) Partial begin 23:58:18
(U1) Total begin 0:51:16
Greatest eclipse 2:36:25
(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.[1] It lasted a maximum of 6 minutes and 39 seconds off the coast of Southeast Asia,[2] causing tourist interest in eastern China, Japan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.[2][3][4]


  • Visibility 1
  • Observations 2
  • Duration 3
  • Photos 4
  • View from space 5
  • Related eclipses 6
    • Solar eclipses 2008–2011 6.1
    • Saros series 6.2
    • Metonic cycle 6.3
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


A partial eclipse was seen within the broad path of the Moon's penumbra, including most of Southeast Asia (all of 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 northern part of the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati.

Totality was visible in many large cities, including

  • Bauer, Amanda (2009). "Solar Eclipse". Sixty Symbols.  

External links

  • gallery
  • Total Solar Eclipse, July 22, 2009, from China by Jay Pasachoff
  • Enewetak, Marshall Islands. Prof. Druckmüller's eclipse photography site
  • MTSAT-1R visible satellite imagery of the solar eclipse shadow (CIMSS Satellite Blog)
  • 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


  • Solar eclipse of July 22, 2009: Time & Place in Indian cities
  • The Longest eclipse of the 21st century time – July 22, 2009
  • The 21st century’s longest total solar eclipse to be Internet broadcast worldwide
  • How To Watch July 22, 2009 Total Solar Eclipse Live On Web
  • City of Brass at The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century
  • Solar Eclipse Could Create Chaos AP
  • Watch Solar eclipse live from Guwahati
  • July eclipse is best chance to look for gravity anomaly New Scientist
  • Solar eclipse: All roads lead to Bihar

Pre-eclipse news:

  • NASA homepage for July 22, 2009 total solar eclipse
  • Interactive map of the eclipse from NASA
  • Jay Anderson, Weather and Maps for the Total Solar Eclipse 2009 July 22 00:54 – 04:12 UT


  1. ^ "Catalog of Long Total Solar Eclipses: 2001 to 3000". 
  2. ^ a b (AFP) – 6 days ago. "AFP: Solar eclipse sparks tourism fever in China". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  3. ^ "Scientists: China the best place to observe longest solar eclipse in 2,000 years_English_Xinhua". 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  4. ^ "Indian students on solar eclipse 'odyssey' to China – Yahoo! India News". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Weather conditions for cities in China during the July 22 eclipse (Chinese)
  7. ^ "NASA Map" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Espenak, Fred. "Total Solar Eclipse of July 2009" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "best place to view July 22 solar eclipse". 
  10. ^ "The Solar Eclipse In Varanasi - Wonders of the Solar System - Series 1 Episode 1 Preview - BBC Two". YouTube. 
  11. ^ "Solar Eclipse on July 22 May Be Most Viewed Ever". 
  12. ^ "Indians enthralled by solar eclipse". 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  14. ^ "Thousands watch long solar eclipse". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  15. ^ "People watch century’s last solar eclipse". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  16. ^ "People watch century’s last solar eclipse". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  17. ^ "Island « Total Eclipse.Jp". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  18. ^ "August 2, 2027 Total Solar Eclipse". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  19. ^ "APOD: 2009 July 3 – Perihelion and Aphelion". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  20. ^ "Chandrayaan-1". ISRO. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  21. ^ "Eclipse Shadows Southeastern China : Image of the Day". 
  22. ^ SEsaros136 at


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).

Metonic cycle

29 30 31

April 25, 1865

May 6, 1883

May 18, 1901
32 33 34

May 29, 1919

Jun 8, 1937

Jun 20, 1955
35 36 37

Jun 30, 1973

Jul 11, 1991

Jul 22, 2009
38 39 40

Aug 2, 2027

Aug 12, 2045

Aug. 24, 2063
41 42 43

Sep. 3, 2081

Sep. 14, 2099

Sep. 26, 2117

Series members 29–43 occur between 1865 and 2117:

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.[22]

Saros series

Solar eclipse series sets from 2008–2011
Ascending node   Descending node
Saros Map Saros Map

Partial from Christchurch, New Zealand
2008 February 7


Novosibirsk, Russia
2008 August 1


Bandar Lampung, Indonesia
2009 January 26


Kurigram, Bangladesh
2009 July 22


Bangui, Central African Republic
2010 January 15


French Polynesia
2010 July 11


Partial from Vienna, Austra
2011 January 4

Partial (north)
156 2011 July 1

Partial (south)
Partial solar eclipses on June 1, 2011, and November 25, 2011, occur on the next lunar year eclipse set.

Each member 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.

Solar eclipses 2008–2011

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.

Related eclipses

12:30 UT (pre-eclipse)

1:30 UT

Close up at 1:30 UT

It was also observed by the Japanese geostationary satellite MTSAT:[21]

The Terrain Mapping Camera in the Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission was used to image the earth during the eclipse.[20]

Animation of eclipse path

View from space

Partial eclipse


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.

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.[18] 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[19] where the Sun appeared slightly smaller.

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.

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.[17]

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.


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.[14][15][16] 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.

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.

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.

Indian scientists observed the solar eclipse from an Indian Air Force plane.[13]

View from a Boat in Ganges

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.[12]

Crowds gather on the ghats for the eclipse in Varanasi, India


This eclipse may be the most-viewed total solar eclipse in history, with 30 million people in Shanghai and Hangzhou alone.[11]

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.[10]

[9] had similar conditions to those in Kitaio Jima; although the eclipse was the longest there than anywhere else.Varanasi 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 [8][7] was predicted to have the best viewing conditionsKitaio Jima According to NASA, the Japanese island [6][5]

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