Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar Eclipse, July 22, 2009

The solar eclipse will take place in early hours (IST 5:00 am to 8:00 am) of July 22, 2009 i.e. tomorrow in India and is unique in the aspect that it'll b a total solar eclipse after 15 years and the next total solar eclipse will be observed after 78 years (i.e. in 2087). The other countries to observe the eclipse will be Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, China and a few Islands namely Marshall Islands, Ryukyu Islands and Kiribati. The eclipse will be totally visible in India in many big cities namely Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna and Dinajpur. Maximum visiblility will be in Taregana, Bihar where people are busy buying protective glasses. Among the metropolitan cities, Mumbai will experience 95% visibility and Delhi, 80%.

It will be the longest total eclipse in the 21st century, lasting for 6 minutes and 39 seconds and is part of Series 136 of the Saros Circle. The exceptional duration is due to the moon nearing perigee, with the diameter of the moon 8% larger than the sun, perigee being the point of closest approach between the moon and the earth. Hence, there is probability for mild changes in ocean tides during the eclipse due to the Moon's gravitational pull. These tides should not be mistaken as a tsunami.

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