Solar eclipse 2009: Totality crosses eastern Asia

The longest total solar eclipse of the century occurs July 22, 2009. Astronomy magazine editors will witness the event firsthand from China. is your guide to observing tips, on-site reports, blogs, Twitter updates, and stunning images of this historic event. Stay tuned for continual updates!
By | Published: July 2, 2009 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Solar eclipse blogs, press release, and images

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Asian solar eclipse path of totality
The Moon’s shadow covers much of eastern Asia and the western Pacific July 22, 2009. China is the place to be if you want a good view of totality from terra firma.
Astronomy: Roen Kelly, from predictions by Fred Espenak (NASA/GSFC).
General information
The July 22, 2009, total solar eclipse begins at sunrise in India, and from there the Moon’s shadow zips across eastern Asia. The track crosses China for much of the morning before leaving the mainland near Shanghai. Observers just south of this city will experience nearly 6 minutes of totality. The track then moves out over the Pacific Ocean. Maximum eclipse occurs about 195 miles east of Iwo Jima, where observers will see the Sun disappear for 6 minutes and 39 seconds.

Astronomy magazine Editor David J. Eicher and Senior Editor Richard Talcott will witness the eclipse while cruising the Yangtze River.

Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich will watch the event from Nine Dragons Resort in Jiaxing, China.

All three will file regular updates and images from their trips.

Sun’s corona at solar minimum
The Sun’s corona shows lots of streamers at solar minimum. The Sun’s cycle was at a low ebb during the August 1, 2008, eclipse seen here. Astronomers expect similar conditions in July.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Exclusive overview of the total solar eclipse from Astronomy
In the July 2009 issue of Astronomy magazine, Senior Editor Richard Talcott previews the July 22 eclipse. The article includes a diagram of the eclipse’s path across eastern Asia and the western Pacific, eclipse facts, observing tips, a sky map highlighting the stars that will be visible during the totality, and stunning images of past eclipses.

Read “Get ready for the great Asian eclipse”.

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Animation of the 2009 total solar eclipse as seen from Shanghai

Using’s interactive star chart — StarDome, we put together this animation of the eclipse as seen from Shanghai. The animation begins at first contact, 0h23m Universal Time, and ends at final contact, 3h01m. People in Shanghai will get to see more than 5 minutes of totality.

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Live coverage of solar eclipse from Astronomy editors in China
Additional eclipse information