Solar Eclipse July 2009 Time Will Be Longest of Century
The longest solar eclipse of the century is less than 24 hours away! According to experts, the total solar eclipse taking place Wednesday, July 22, 2009, will last over 6 1/2 minutes. Total contact time will be almost 3 hours, from approximately 0h30minutes to 3h00m Universal Time (times are approximate and vary according to expert; some have contact starting as late as 0h55m and ending after 4h00m UT).
The eclipse is part of the Saros cycle, which also includes the record-setting July 1991 solar eclipse, and is the second of three eclipses to occur within a month. The other two eclipses were lunar eclipses, one of which took place on July 7, 2009, and the other of which will occur August 6, 2009.
Tomorrow's solar eclipse will not be visible in North America; it will only be seen in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including India, Butan, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Japan, and the Marshall Islands. Totality will be visible from many large cities, including Surat, India, and Chongqing and Shanghai, China. It will also be visible from China's Three Gorges Dam.
The next partial solar eclipse will occur in January 2010, and the next total solar eclipse is estimated for July 2010. The latter may be visible from points along the Pacific coast of South America. The next sun eclipse that will be visible from parts of North America will likely take place in 2011.