Total solar eclipse in most of China
A total solar eclipse was observed at many places in China on Wednesday morning, officials said.world Updated: Jul 22, 2009 11:21 IST
A total solar eclipse was observed at many places in China on Wednesday morning, officials said.
At 9.15 am, many places in the upper reaches of China's longest river, the Yangtze, were engulfed in total darkness.
The moon's shadow blocked the sun, leaving only the solar corona visible in China's Chongqing Municipality and Guang'an City in southwestern Sichuan province.
The cities in the region turned off the streetlights for better viewing of the total eclipse that lasted for about four minutes.
The July 22 eclipse was the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century.
Millions of eclipse-watchers gathered at the banks of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers early Wednesday to observe the spectacle.
A partial solar eclipse started at 8.01 am in Cona County, Tibet in southwest China, according to an observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The county was one of the first places in the country to see the eclipse.
However, the view at Cona was blocked by clouds, according to sources from the CAS Purple Mountain Observatory based in Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province.
Cona is 500 km south of Tibet's capital Lhasa, where clouds covered the sun.
The weather in many Chinese cities along the full solar eclipse path was not favourable for observing the phenomenon, the China Meteorological Administration said.
Zhu Jin, head of the Beijing Astronomical Observatory, said although overcast conditions blocked the view along the lower stream of Yangtze, the shadow of the moon was visible moving behind the clouds.
The full solar blackout could be seen at 9.30 am from an observatory site in Anji, east China's Zhejiang province, a site chosen by Jay Pasachoff, head of the Solar Eclipse Working Group of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and over 200 astronomers from more than 20 countries.
"The weather is clear enough to observe the complete duration of the solar eclipse here in Anji. The forecast of the time of the eclipse proved to be accurate," said Zhang Hongqi, chief researcher of the National Astronomical Observatories.
It was raining in Shanghai, when the eclipse occurred at 9.35 am. The city put extra police on the streets, and more than 30 police vessels patrolled the coast.