Longest eclipse of the century

July 22, 2009 14:59 by scibuff

If 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, then the past few days definitely qualify as The #1 Week of that year. Not only did we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first footsteps of a man on the Moon and observed an Earth-sized dark stop on Jupiter exactly 15 years after comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 plunged into Jupiter’s southern hemisphere “in a 1 in 15,000 years event”, but early today, countless spectators in East Asia saw another spectacular show of the nature.

The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century (unmatched until Jun 13, 2132), began just off the coast of India at 00:51:16.9 UTC and ended in Polynesia at 04:19:26.5 UTC. At maximum (02:35:21 UTC) about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan, the eclipse lasted stunning 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds. 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.

Solar corona from Hangzhou (Tianmu Mountain), China - Photo Credit: jaaron

Solar corona from Hangzhou (Tianmu Mountain), China - Photo Credit: jaaron

Baily's beads - Photo Credit: SAROS 2009

Baily's beads - Photo Credit: SAROS 2009

Diamond Ring at the end of the total eclipse - Photo Credit: Manuel Secher

Diamond Ring at the end of the total eclipse - Photo Credit: Manuel Secher

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Annular Solar Eclipse 2010 – Photos

[…] the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century on July 22 last year (the longest until Jun 13, 2132), today’s annular solar eclipse is another record holder. Its […]

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