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Jan 15, 2010 Annular Solar Eclipse

An annular solar eclipse on January 15, 2010 marks the first of four eclipses throughout the year. This eclipse is visible from a track that goes across central Africa, the Indian Ocean and eastern Asia.

The eclipse’s annular phase lasts for about 11 minutes and eight seconds, which is the longest lasting solar eclipse since the annular solar eclipse on January 4, 1992, which lasted for about 11 minutes and 41 seconds. This duration will not be equaled or exceeded until the annular solar eclipse of December 23, 3043, which is 1033 years ahead of 2010.

What the eclipse would look like near the maximum point

The animation shows approximately what the eclipse looks like near the maximum point of the eclipse (weather permitting).

Is this eclipse viewable in Washington DC?


This animation requires Flash to be installed. We hope to offer it without needing Flash soon.

Click the 'play' button to view the animation. The pause button can also be used to temporarily suspend the animation.

The animation shows where this annular solar eclipse is visible (white, gray and red shading) as well as day and night (dark “wave” slowly moving across the Earth's surface).

The colors within the shaded area show how much of the Sun's disk the Moon covers during the eclipse. The dark center of the red area shows the best locations to view this eclipse. Here, the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun without covering it entirely, leaving a bright “ring of fire” that is characteristic of an annular solar eclipse.

In the red area, the Sun is obscured 90 percent or more, in the dark gray area the Moon covers between 25 and 90 percent of the Sun's disk. The white shaded area symbolizes locations where less than 25 percent are covered.

The dark strip in the center indicates the best locations for viewing the eclipse. Here, the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun.

The eclipse is also visible in the areas that are shaded red, but less of the Sun's disk is obscured. The fainter the red shading the less of the Sun's disk is covered during the eclipse.

Where to see the eclipse

Continents seeing at least a partial eclipse:

Annular eclipse visible in:

Locations near the shadow's path:

Partial eclipse visible in:


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When the eclipse happens worldwide

The eclipse starts at one location and ends at another. The times below are actual times (in UTC) when the eclipse occurs.
EventUTC TimeTime in Washington DC*
First location to see partial eclipse beginJan 15 at 4:05 AMJan 14 at 11:05 PM
First location to see full Eclipse beginJan 15 at 5:14 AMJan 15 at 12:14 AM
Maximum EclipseJan 15 at 7:05 AMJan 15 at 2:05 AM
Last location to see full Eclipse endJan 15 at 8:59 AMJan 15 at 3:59 AM
Last location to see partial Eclipse endJan 15 at 10:07 AMJan 15 at 5:07 AM

* Local times shown do not refer to when the eclipse can be observed from Washington DC. Instead, they indicate the times when the eclipse begins, is at its max, and ends, somewhere else on earth. The corresponding local times are useful if you want to view the eclipse via a live webcam.
Eclipses viewable in Washington DC.

The eclipse's path

The maximum eclipse point occurs in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but the annular phase can still be seen from either Africa or Asia. People in the towns of Bambari and Bangasou, in the Central African Republic, can witness the annular eclipse at sunrise before it moves towards Uganda. The capital city of Kampala witnesses seven minutes and 39 seconds of annularity but the sun is only 20 degrees above the eastern horizon at the time.

The city of Nakuru, in Kenya, has more than eight minutes of annularity, while from the country’s capital of Nairobi, the annular phase lasts just under six minutes. Annularity crosses southern Somalia before leaving towards the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives witness the eclipse’s annularity for 10 minutes and 44 seconds, before the eclipse moves past south-east Bangladesh and passes the towns of Akyab and Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma). The path then moves to China, where the city of Nanyang witnesses the eclipse for seven minutes and 26 seconds, while Xuzhou sees it for six minutes and 56 seconds. Chongqing, which saw the total solar eclipse of 2009, also witnesses the annular eclipse for seven minutes and 50 seconds.

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