New Delhi, June 30 (ANI): A total solar eclipse of longest duration in 21st century will occur on Wednesday morning (July 22).
This eclipse is of special interest for the scientists and general public as its path of totality passes through thickly populated regions of west, central, east and north-east India.
Consequently, it provides a rare opportunity to view and study this grand spectacle of nature. The partial phase of the eclipse will be visible throughout the country.
In general, the partial phase can be seen in the regions of eastern Asia and Pacific Ocean.
Considering the Earth as a whole, the eclipse begins at 5:28 a.m. when the shadow of the Moon touches the Earth at local sunrise at a point in the Arabian Sea close to the western coast of India.
The eclipse ends at 10:42 a.m. when Moon's shadow finally leaves the Earth at local sunset at a point in the South Pacific Ocean.
At approximately 6:23 a.m., the central path of the eclipse will touch the Earth at sunrise at a point in the Gulf of Khmbhat in the Arabian Sea near the southern coast of Gujarat.
At this time, the path of totality will be about 200 km wide and the duration of totality at the central line will be about three minute 30 seconds.
The shadow crosses over central India, passes through south-east of Nepal, crosses North Bengal, southern part of Sikkim, most of Bhutan and north-western tip of Bangladesh. Then the shadow enters Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, touches Myanmar and enters China.
The umbra sweeps over China, enters East China Sea and then passes through Japan's Ryukyu Island.
The maximum duration of totality of 6 minutes 44 seconds occurs at 8:05 a.m. in the North Pacific Ocean where the width of the path is about 258 km. The 'rest of the path does not pass through major land areas.
It curves south-east through Pacific Ocean hitting some small atolls in the Polynesia. The totality ends at 9:48 a.m.when the umbral cone leaves the Earth at a point in the Pacific Ocean.
The next solar eclipse, which is an annular solar eclipse will occur on January 15, 2010.
The path of the said eclipse will pass through extreme southern tips of India. (ANI)