. Solar eclipse 2009, the longest total eclipse in the 21st century, will last for more than six and a half minutes at it’s peak, and black out the world’s most populous countries as it passes directly over
In just a few hours time the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century will begin as the Moon gradually tracks a path across the front of the Sun, sending the worlds most populous nations into a premature twilight.
Thousands of people from
Solar eclipse 2009 will make landfall at 6.30am local time (0030 UTC) on the western Indian state of Gujarat before racing across India, blacking out the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges, squeezing between the northern and southern tips of Bangladesh and Nepal before engulfing most of Bhutan, traversing the Chinese mainland and slipping back out to sea off Shanghai
For people living outside of these areas a number of live video streams have been set up so they can track the Moons shadow The eclipse began on
Even when 99% of the Sun''s surface (the photosphere) is obscured during the partial phases of a solar eclipse. This is primarily because nearing totality the ambient light levels become so less that our pupils dilate and the iris tries to allow in more light into the eye. During the partial phase any surge in sunlight, like the one seen during a diamond ring formation can cause excessive solar radiation entering the eye and causing a burn on the retina.