The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century


The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century occurs on July 22nd, 2009…in the eastern hemisphere. The eclipse totality path passes through India, Tibet, China and some of the southern small islands of Japan; but misses Hong Kong and the Korean peninsula. Greatest eclipse is in the Pacific Ocean and lasts 6 minutes, 39 seconds. Partial eclipses will be visible across India, Asia, Micronesia and the Pacific Islands. Hawaii will experience a minimal partial eclipse in the late afternoon on the 21st.

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between Sun and Earth. The Moon must be at New Moon phase, which occurs on the 21st at 8:35 pm, MDT. Because of time zone changes, New Moon will be on the 22nd in the eastern hemisphere, hence the eclipse on the 22nd. Since Hawaii is east of the International Date Line, it will still be the 21st in Hawaii at the time of the eclipse.

The next solar eclipses to cross the continental US will be an annular eclipse in May of 2012, a partial eclipse in October of 2014 and a total eclipse in August of 2017.

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