The total solar eclipse of the Sun on Wednesday, July 22, 2009, will be the longest total solar eclipse in the 21st century, with the disappearance of the Sun when totally covered by moon can last up to a maximum of 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with most area averaging 6 minutes of solar eclipse. The next solar eclipse that can surpass this record duration will not come until June 13, 2132.

Total Solar Eclipse of July 22 2009
The path of total and partial solar eclipse on July 22, 2009

The total solar eclipse on July 22 2009 is visible within a narrow corridor that traverses half of the Earth, where the Moon’s umbral shadown begins from northern Maldives, northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and on to the Pacific Ocean, Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Although it’s just a narrow corridor, but many large cities are to witness total solar eclipse, including Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Dinajpur, Guwahati, Chengdu, Nanchong, Chongqing (Three Gorges Dam), Yichang, Jingzhou, Wuhan, Huanggang, Hefei, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Huzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo and Shanghai, while a partial eclipse where the earth is covered under path of the Moon’s penumbral shadow can be visiable throughout most of the eastern Asia, Indonesia and Pacific Ocean, making the solar eclipse of July 22 2009 likely to be the most viewed solar eclipse in history.

For people who is unlucky enough to continue enjoy sun light and live in parts of the world that not in the path of solar eclipse, it’s possible to watch and view the whole total solar eclipse from the convenient of home in front of computer with various websites offering live streaming video feed or webcast. It’s even possible to view the live telecast right from this page:

National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Multi-site from Wuhan to Shanghai Federated Live Broadcast of Solar Eclipse on July 22, International Year of Astronomy 2009): http://eclipse.astronomy2009.org.cn/english/

University of North Dakota SEMS (from Wuhan Bioengineering Institute, Wuhan, China): http://sems1.cs.und.edu/~sems/index_Video.php

Live! Eclipse 2009 (Japan): http://www.live-eclipse.org/

AtlasPost (Simplified Chinese): http://www.atlaspost.com/2009tse

Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/index.html

UStream (from Guwahati):

Grupa Saros (Wuhan, China): http://www.saros.org/

Depending on the broadcasting location, the online viewing time may vary, which generally falls between 8:10 PM to 11:05 PM (EDT) or 5:10 PM to 8:05 PM (PDT) on July 21, 2009 for broadcast originated from China, earlier in India or later in Japan.

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