The Longest ever (in terms of duration, and in this Century) Total Solar Eclipse is occurring over our skies…tomorrow! It would last about 6 and a half minutes and the shadow of the Moon would start from the western ghats of India and will stretch all the way into Japan’s Ryukyu Islands.
On Wednesday, 2009 July 22, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half of Earth. The path of the Moon’s umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. After leaving mainland Asia, the path crosses Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and curves southeast through the Pacific Ocean where the maximum duration of totality reaches 6 min 39 s. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon’s penumbral shadow, which includes most of eastern Asia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean. [Full and detailed information available at NASA's GSFC ]
The Eclipse will start at 5.28 am IST as the Moon’s shadow will touch the Earth at somewhere out in the Arabian Sea. The shadow will then move in an South-Eastern direction towards China and will reach the Pacific Ocean and then will finally lift off the Earth at around 10:00 IST. I think it is too early in the morning! In fact, in some places, sunrise itself will be in an eclipsed manner! That would be cool to watch, ain’t it?
Totality will be visible from the Indian cities of Surat, Baroda, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, & Guwahati, with Taregana in Bihar said to be the best place to view the event! Well, Hyderbad will get to see a partial eclipse but it’s way early in the morning and given the cloudy skies that we’ve been experiencing lately, I doubt whether we’ll be able to see it in all its glory. Better catch up the news bulletins afterwards. And please, do ignore the cock n’ bull rumour-mongering stories about Earthquakes and Tsunamis that dumbass channels like India TV/Zee News/Aaj Tak etc will air! And stay clear of the astrological gibberish that is sure to be bandied about!
[Edit: Updated the time frame of the eclipse in IST.]