Scope Diagram Astrocamera.Net - Astrophotography by Dave Kodama

Total Solar Eclipse - 22 July 2009

Moon and Venus Over Shanghai As the start of our trip drew closer, it seemed that our good luck with the weather at previous eclipses was going to run out. Weather satellites showed a tropical storm between the Philippines and Taiwan, headed towards mainland China. It looked like all of Asia along the eclipse path was going to be shrouded in heavy clouds, but after our arrival in Shanghai, the early morning scene (right) looked promising.

The sky did not clear as well as it seemed to be doing that first morning, but instead increased our anxiety by getting cloudier. By the day before the eclipse, it was clear that unless our plans to view the eclipse from between Shanghai and Hangzhou were changed, we would be clouded out.

The site selection "committee" in the tour spent the day coming up with possible alternative observing spots and took off in the late afternoon to check out the best possibilities. They did not return for dinner, or for the beginning of the scheduled evening pre-eclipse meeting. Instead it was late in the evening before they arrived back to report to the rest of the anxiously waiting tour group assembled in a conference room.

The decision was to head to the northwest of Hangzhou, toward the mountains, instead of northeast toward Shanghai and the coastline.



The marker on the right is the originally planned observing location while the one on the left is the actual observing location. Option: view the site locations in a larger map.

Preliminaries  |   Arrival in China  |   Eclipse Day  |  Eclipse Views  |  Photos from Tibet
See also Full trip photo album