An experience of a lifetime: Witnessing the longest Solar Eclipse of 21st Century

I consider myself very lucky to have witnessed the longest Solar Eclipse of the 21st century on July 22, 2009, which I saw from Varanasi, India. Scientists have predicated that such an event is not going to repeat until June 2132. I was reminded of my experience of that amazing celestial event, when I once again observed an annular solar eclipse the day before yesterday during sunset, which was partially visible from Dallas, Texas. The following post is an account of my experiences of the solar eclipse in 2009.

Coincidentally, I was already in India during that time, so I decided to travel to Varanasi, which is one of the oldest cities in the world, to observe the eclipse. The magnificent show of nature, lasted for 6 minutes 38 seconds in places which coincided with the point of maximum eclipse. The eclipse was visible from a narrow corridor through northern Maldives, northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, central China, and the Pacific Ocean, including the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.

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Extended corona — The corona (or crown) is directly visible only during totality.

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Inner corona and Prominence (the bright red loop).

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The Diamond ring (C3) — At third contact (C3) the brilliant diamond ring marks the end of totality.

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Partial Eclipse- Sometime after the first contact (C1).

(Continue to read more about the event, some more photographs and about solar eclipse photography)
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