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TOPIC: July 22, 2009 solar eclipse


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Observations made by Hong Kong Observatory during partial solar eclipse today
A partial solar eclipse was visible in Hong Kong from 8.15am to 10.46am today (July 22), with the maximum eclipse occurring at 9.26am. The weather was mainly fine during the eclipse. Although the sun was occasionally blocked by clouds, the eclipse was still visible for a long period from many places in Hong Kong. Figure 1 shows the image of the solar eclipse photographed by the Hong Kong Observatory.

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Millions of people watched on Wednesday, July 22, the longest solar eclipse in the century.

"It was a great experience, it was a lot of fun" - Tim O'Rourke, a freelance photographer from Detroit, Michigan, who was among thousands gathered in the People's Square in Shanghai.

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"Clouds, like the total solar eclipse, are also part of nature," An Loos of Belgium sighed, her face betraying bitterness. Loos was in this small Bihar village, 35 km from Patna, to view the rare celestial phenomenon, but could not because clouds proved a spoiler.
Declared by NASA as the "best spot" in the country to view the total eclipse on Wednesday, Taregna saw thousands in the fields and on rooftops, but all the village could offer was darkness when the clock struck 6.24am and the sun was totally eclipsed. Dawn broke afresh after full three minutes and 48 seconds.

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Longest eclipse passes across Asia
Millions of people across Asia have been plunged into darkness by the longest total solar eclipse of this century.

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Longest solar eclipse of the century envelops Asia in darkness
It was viewed by millions across densely populated regions of Asia and is thought to have been the most-viewed eclipse in human history. Around 30 million people watched the event in China alone.
The eclipse first appeared just before 1am GMT at in India's Gulf of Khambhat just north of the metropolis of Mumbai. The shadow of the Moon then moved east across Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before hitting the Pacific.

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Scientists at this observatory outside Hangzhou joined residents and tourists across China and India in observing the longest total solar eclipse in a century and probably the most-viewed ever.
The moon's shadow traced a path across the world's two most populous countries before racing across the Pacific, providing a view of totality for five minutes and 36 seconds for scientists gathered here from around the world as part of the Williams College Eclipse Expedition.

"We saw it! The clouds kept getting thinner, and we even had a pretty good-sized hole in the clouds for the five minutes of totality" - Expedition Leader Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams and chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Solar Eclipses.

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Solar eclipse occurs in Tibet, but views blocked by clouds
Cona County, Tibet in southwest China was one of the first places in the country to view the solar eclipse, which occurred at 8:01'27 Wednesday, according to an observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

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