Home > Sun & Moon > Eclipses > July 21, 2009 – July 22, 2009 — Total Solar Eclipse

July 21, 2009 – July 22, 2009 — Total Solar Eclipse

Millions of people in India, China, and other parts of Asia witness a total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009. Cities such as Surat, in India, as well as Chengdu, Shanghai, and Wuhan, in China, experience the eclipse’s totality. Visitors at the Taj Mahal, which is listed as one of the modern world’s seven wonders, witness this eclipse.

This is the longest total solar eclipse in the 21st century, and will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132. The moon's umbra travels along a track that is about 15,150km (about 9414 miles) long and covers 0.71 percent of the Earth’s surface area over a course of three hours and 25 minutes. The eclipse’s maximum duration of totality is six minutes and 39 seconds.

Was this Total Solar Eclipse visible in Washington DC?

What the Eclipse Looked Like Near the Maximum Point

The animation shows what the eclipse approximately looked like near the maximum point.

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Where the Eclipse Was Seen

Regions that saw at least a partial eclipse: South/East Asia, North in Australia, Pacific, Indian Ocean.

The eclipse's path

According to NASA, the path of the moon's umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before curving south across the Pacific Ocean. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the moon's penumbral (partially shaded outer region) shadow, which includes most of eastern Asia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean.

Expand for cities where at least part of the total eclipse was visible
Expand cities where partial eclipse was visible

Was this eclipse visible in Washington DC?

Solar Eclipse Path

Area that saw the total solar eclipse.

More than 90% of the sun was covered.

Up to 90% of the sun was covered.

Up to 40% of the sun was covered.

Eclipse was not visible at all.

Shades of darkness


Astronomical Twilight (Sun was 12 - 18 degrees below the horizon).

Nautical Twilight (Sun was 6 - 12 degrees below the horizon).

Civil Twilight (Sun was 0 - 6 degrees below the horizon).


Area that saw the total solar eclipse.

More than 90% of the sun was covered.

Up to 90% of the sun was covered.

Up to 40% of the sun was covered.

Eclipse was not visible at all.

Note: Percentage values (%) relate to moon coverage of the sun and depends on location. Visibility is weather permitting.

When the Eclipse Happened Worldwide

The eclipse started at one location and ended at another. The times below are actual times (in UTC) when the eclipse occurred.

EventUTC TimeTime in Washington DC*
First location to see partial eclipse beginJul 21 at 11:58 PMJul 21 at 7:58 PM
First location to see full Eclipse beginJul 22 at 12:51 AMJul 21 at 8:51 PM
Maximum EclipseJul 22 at 2:34 AMJul 21 at 10:34 PM
Last location to see full Eclipse endJul 22 at 4:19 AMJul 22 at 12:19 AM
Last location to see partial Eclipse endJul 22 at 5:12 AMJul 22 at 1:12 AM

* Local times shown do not refer to when the eclipse could be observed from Washington DC. Instead, they indicate the times when the eclipse began, was at its max, and ended, somewhere else on earth. The corresponding local times are useful if you wanted to view the eclipse via a live webcam.
Eclipses visible in Washington DC.

Next Total Solar Eclipse will be on Jul 11, 2010.

Eclipses in 2009

Eclipses in Your City


Eclipses during year 2009

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