While you were sleeping, the lights went out in the Eastern Hemisphere as the largest solar eclipse this century cast a shadow from Asia to the South Pacific. The total solar eclipse cast complete darkness over an area up to 160 miles wide for more than six minutes in some places, traveling over land from its beginnings somewhere near Surat in Western India through central China before heading southeast into the Pacific. Though the darkest action occurred over the ocean, the event sent eclipse enthusiasts flocking to remote regions of India and China to witness the astronomical rarity. But if an ailing global tourism industry is looking to the heavens for a boost in travel, they should know it isn’t in the stars; a solar eclipse of this magnitude won’t be seen again until 2132.
Total Solar Eclipse of 2009
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