Tuesday, 21 Jul, 2009 Offbeat
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21st Century's Longest Solar Eclipse - July 22, 2009

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 humans will witness the longest solar eclipse of the century. The solar eclipse will be partly visible in India, where it will begin its way, crossing Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and China.

Then the eclipse will pass Japan's Ryukyu Islands and into the Pacific Ocean. According to Holly Gilbert, NASA astrophysicist, the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century will last 6 minutes and 39 seconds, which is believed to be incredibly long, compared to earlier solar eclipses.

Taking advantage of the solar eclipse, people will have a rare possibility to observe the outer atmosphere, with the moon being at an ideal distance from the earth, informs National Geographic.

Researchers recommend people to avoid looking at the sun with the naked eye or using binoculars, which could cause serious eye damage.

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