2009 total solar eclipse pre-trip information by Mark Sukhija

Climate information

The maps below provide information on typical climate conditions at various points along the centre line of the 2009 Solar Eclipse. Images are reproduced courtesy of Jay Anderson.

Eclipse path

The path of the eclipse will include India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, southern Japan and the Marshall and Gilbert Islands as well as many smaller islands in the Pacific Ocean Of the land areas from where totality is visible.

Eclipse path

NASA have published an interactive Google map of the eclipse.

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC

Eclipse maps are reproduced courtesy of Fred Espenak - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

Eclipse timings

The total eclipse of 22 July 2009 will be visible to millions of people accross India, south-east Asia and the western Pacific.

At it's peak, the eclipse will last 6 minutes 38 seconds and cover 258 km in width.

Event Time (UTC)
Beginning of the general eclipse 23:58:18 (Jul 21)
Beginning of the total eclipse 00:51:16
Beginning of the central eclipse 00:54:31
Greatest eclipse 02:35:21
End of the central eclipse 04:16:13
End of the total eclipse 04:19:26
End of the general eclipse 05:12:25

Japan Info

There aren't many places to see the 2009 total solar eclipse in Japan on land. Toshima Village (Tokara Islands) is made of twelve small islands is the main place with long totality. Access will be determined by ballot and I expect the ballot to be many times over-subscribed.

Kinki Nippon Tourist (Kintetsu International), have a monopoly on tours to the Tokara Islands during eclipse time. At the time of writing, prices would range from Y342,000 up to Y417,000 for 4 to 10 day trips. 24-types of trip are available. Registration for the ballots is only possible through the KNT website

Music festival

There will also be a Total Solar Eclipse Live Music Festival at the north-side of Amami-Oshima.

Other information

  • The Toshima village has a population of under 700.
  • Yakushima and Amami-Oshima are more used to tourists and generally more ready to accept them and tours here are expected to be cheaper. However, totality will be shorter than on the Tokara Islands.
  • Totality will also be visible at Yakushima whose nature reserve is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Although I am informed weather conditions will probably not be conducive to viewing the eclipse from this specific location.

Toshima Village means Tokara archipelago, i.e. 7 inhabited islands and 5 uninhabited islets, from north to south,

  • Kuchinoshima
  • Gaja-jima
  • Kogaja-jima
  • Nakanoshima
  • Taira-jima
  • Suwanose-jima
  • Akuseki-jima
  • Kodakara-jima
  • Kojima
  • Takara-jima
  • Kaminone-jima
  • Yokoate-jima

Other websites

More information on the total solar eclipse in Japan can be found on totaleclipse.jp and on Amami Oshima website

Indian Ideas

In India, the 2009 total solar eclipse is visible from quite a range of places. For these ideas have simply endeavoured to put together a couple of suggestions for a schedule which will include the solar eclipse. No consideration has been given to any other aspects of the eclipse. Your precise location for seeing the eclipse will depend on where/when you want to arrive/depart etc.

The cities of Bahvnagar, Surat, Indore, Murwara, Varanasi, Aurangabad and Patna all lie in the path of totality. Of these, Surat, the second largest city in Gujrat, is right on the centre line.

Most international arrivals will probably be either in Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata (Calcutta) Airports. Given the path of eclipse, arrival in any of these airports is a practical option if you want to experience totality in India.

There are numerous possibilities for building a trip in India which incorporate the 2009 Eclipse. Of the cities mentioned previously, Patna should give the longest period of totality, although Sasaram is about half-way to Varanasi (which will also experience totality) and is slap bang on the centre line. If you're planning to arrive or depart from Kolkata this area is probably excellent to experience the eclipse from. Varanasi is a must stop if you're viewing the eclipse from here as it one of the holiest places in all of Hinduism.

For first time visitors to India arriving or departing from New Delhi must consider going to Agra, home to the world famous Taj Mahal, which was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Also for Delhi arrivals and departures, consider visiting the Rajastani cities of Udaipur and Jaipur.

With a Delhi/Calcutta open-jaw, you can do Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Sasaram and Patna between the two cities, taking in the eclipse in one of the latter three cities.

Related Posts

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Singapore Changi Airport SSingapore Changi Airport, one of the worlds finest airports
Singapore - signs of Little India by night Singapore - streets of Little India seen by night
Singapore - A380 at Singapore Changi Airport A Singapore Airlines A380 aircraft parked up at Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore - signs of Little India by day Dunlop Street in the Little India district of Singapore city
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Further reading

Chengdu - trip to the Wenshu Temple - Travelogue from our afternoon in the Wenshu Temple in Chengdu

Chengdu - three day stay in Chengdu - Travelogue from Chengdu, including the Wenshu Temple during our 18 day trip to China

Visit to Chongqing - Travelogue from our time in Chongqing during an 18 day trip to China

2008 eclipse in Nunavut, Canada - Information on and about the 2008 total solar eclipse section in Nunavut, Canada

2008 Solar Eclipse Path - Path information for the 2008 total solar eclipse, including an orthographic view

2008 Total Solar Eclipse - the post-mortem - Total Solar Eclipse in 2008 - post-mortem

2008 Total Solar Eclipse travel information - Travel ideas for the Total Solar Eclipse in 2008

Barnaul - Getting to and from Barnaul

Nadym - Getting to and from Nadym

Nizhnevartovsk - Getting to and from Nizhnevartovsk

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook