Seeing the eclipse

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well, the forecast ain't great.
And today is the day - the once in a lifetime experience.
I am not in Shangahai.
I am not even in the zone where I can hope to see 4 minutes of the moon blocking the sun.
I am at home with a cold, or possibly swine flu.
I would have liked to have gone north into the zone. Though there are conflicting maps suggesting the path of the darkness across Asia, and across this part of the world - Yunnan.

The forecasts for coastal areas - where many have paid to go to view this event - are not favourable. And those places tend be covered in smog.

People looking forward to seeing the total solar eclipse in Shanghai
and Nanjing tomorrow may have their hopes dashed by bad weather, the
National Meteorological Center’s top forecaster said today.
“The weather conditions will affect people’s ability to see the
eclipse, as these things are much easier to see on clear days,” Yang
Guiming said.
“It may rain in some areas east of Chengdu, along the Yangtze River
Basin, and people there may not see the total solar eclipse,” he said."It's not exactly fever-pitch around here. I asked a couple of people I know if they would see it - we have just a partial eclipse here with around 85% of the sun blocked out. One said no. Another would be sleeping.
But I will try to be up and out at 9am local time - Beijing time - to see if it does go dark. I have a welders visor. No one seems to use them around here, but I picked this up in a nearby town. So I will look through that. It will start around 8am and go through to after 9.15, with the darkest part just after 9am.

This is supposed to be the longest eclipse in the 21st century. Maybe its going to be the end of the world too?

There's more info about the path in south-west China by a friend in Zhongdian:

And one of the maps at

Thousands of people from across China and overseas are expected to
travel long distances to gaze at the once-in-a-lifetime total solar
eclipse of the sun tomorrow which is best visible along the Yangtze
The maximum length of the eclipse, which is expected to last 6
minutes and 39 seconds, would be the longest eclipse in a century. The
best places in China to watch the eclipse would be between Shanghai and
Chongqing, including Hangzhou, Suzhou, Hefei, Wuhan and Chengdu.
In Hangzhou, the Hangzhou China Travel Service said it has organized
about 300 Hong Kong tourists into eight groups for five-day tours
around Zhejiang Province. They will stop at the eclipse observation
spot at Haining, a city known for its leather clothes, located in the
eastern part of the province.
An estimated 30,000 tourists from across China and countries such as
France, Canada, Japan and Sweden are expected in Zhejiang Province for
tomorrow’s eclipse, said a manager surnamed Wang at the European-Asian
Department of the Hangzhou China Travel Service.
Zhejiang Province has picked tourist spots including Wuzhen, Huzhou
and Jiaxing as observation points in order to encourage visitors to see
the entire province, in addition to the eclipse, said Wang. Some
visitors signed up for the 18- day package that will take them from
Zhejiang to Yunnan.
Tongling, a city in Anhui Province, is one of the best places to
catch a great view of the eclipse and the city is making preparations
to handle an influx of visitors.
At, Tongling’s portal website, a new section called “Observe the Eclipse at Tongling” is keeping visitors informed.
Li Ming, the mayor of Tongling, said at an eclipse promotion
conference July 14 that they were confident enough to make this eclipse
observation a historic event and he expected the eclipse to boost
Tongling’s tourism industry.
The tourist boom is also expected to help the hotel industry. At the
five-star Landison Plaza Hotel Hangzhou, more than 100 rooms have been
reserved by observers, said a manager in the hotel’s marketing and
communication department. She said the room prices range from 1,000
yuan ($146.39) to 2,500 yuan.
Teng Yuhui, a businessman from Benxi, Liaoning Province, said his
family would enjoy a weeklong tour around the Yangtze River Delta after
the eclipse.
“If not for the total eclipse, maybe we’d go to Yunnan,” he said.
“My son doesn’t want to miss the total eclipse for nobody could live
another 300 years.”
So far, 81 overseas groups made up of scientists and other
enthusiasts have confirmed plans to visit Suzhou. More than 10,000
people are expected in the beautiful city by tomorrow, according to the
Suzhou Tourism Bureau.
Some local vendors are also capitalizing on the rare event.
Zhang Fa, 28, a student at Suzhou University, said he purchased
1,500 pairs of special viewing glasses, and sells them at an evening
street market in Xuhui district of Shanghai for 10 yuan each. “I have
sold 1,100 pairs in 15 days,” he said.
At the Beijing Planetarium, a manager said they sell thousands of viewing glasses every day.

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