The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century is due July 22nd.
The event will last 6 minutes and 26 seconds and it’ll be 2132 until a solar eclipse of a similar length is visible from Earth. The eclipse’s shadow will stretch up to 258km.
The eclipse will be visible from the world’s most densely populated countries; China and India.
Stargazers in the Indian state of Gujarat will be able to see the solar event first at (at about 4.30pm GMT). The path of the eclipse will mean that the shadow will race across India next; effecting the holy city of Varansai, touching Bangladesh, Nepal, most of Bhutan and then along China before it reaches the sea off Shanghai.
The event, however, lasts long enough it for the shadow to “make landfall” for a second time as it reaches the Ryukyu Islands. It’s after this when the shadow is spread across the Pacific Ocean that the maximum duration of totality will occur.
In total more than two billion people may be able to see the longest solar eclipse of the century.
There is, however, concern. In ancient China it was common to associate eclipses with warnings of forthcoming natural disasters or even the death of the emperor.
The Indian astrologer Raj Kumar Sharma has already described this month’s solar eclipse as a “very dangerous moment in the universe”. He told press; “If the sun, the leader of the stars, is sick, then definitely there’s going to be some bigger problems happening in the world”
In Pure Spirit
Are you planning to mark the solar eclipse in any way on the 22nd?