Total Eclipse on 22 July 2009 in China

Now available: pictures and reports from our trip!

New: the July 13 prediction for the July 22 corona; expect further updates here!

Anderson's, Espenak's, Krause's (with more links & "live" coverage) and AstroCorner's pages
An interactive Circumstances Calculator, a Google Maps tool, many maps and a countdown to totality (on China's E coast).
The English frontpage of the China Meteorological Administration, the Fremdenverkehrsamt der VR China and the Travel News from Gov.cn.

A Cloud animation/eclipse track viewer, a Chinese eclipse wx blog [alt.], a predictor by MeteoBlue and links to weather models!

News directly relating to this eclipse; last comes first
(news from India, Bhutan or about earlier Chinese eclipses included)

(News about the eclipse are linked here - and see also this news link collection.)

Getting best view from above clouds of Asia: China Daily of 22 July 2009.

IAF flight to catch dark sun over India: The Telegraph of 22 July 2009.

See the eclipse on the Web - an overview by Cosmic Log on 21 July 2009.

Solar Eclipse Starts in Asia - on 21 July U.S. time: Voice of America of 21 July 2009.

Solar Eclipse to be broadcast on the internet for IYA2009, says an IYA Update of 21 July 2009.

Lectures at a total eclipse site in Japan: Cosmic Diary of 21 July 2009.

IAF ROLE IN STUDY OF SOLAR ECLIPSE SUSTAINS SINCE 1995 - a press release from the Indian Air Force on 21 July 2009.

40-minute image of solar eclipse corona to be recorded while umbra travels China: China Daily of 21 July 2009.

Plans in place to prevent problems in Shanghai: Shanghai Daily of 21 July 2009.

The Best Eclipse of the Century is Tomorrow! Says Starts with a Bang on 21 July 2009.

Eclipse superstitions reviewed in Bangladesh: BD News 24 of 21 July 2009.

Eclipse's Final Moments Visible in Marshall Islands and Kiribati: Yokwey of 21 July 2009.

Bad weather forecast for astronomical event in Eastern China: Shanghai Daily of 21 July 2009.

Eclipse draws western amateur stargazers to China: pictures by Xinhua on 21 July 2009.

Solar eclipse excitement sweeps Asia, says CNN on 21 July 2009.

Asia will witness 21st century's longest eclipse, datelined Bangkok: China Daily of 21 July 2009.

Clouds likely to block eclipse in E China: AFP.

Solar Eclipse Draws in Thousands to India: AP of 21 July 2009.

Pray for clear skies to view solar eclipse in India: Times of India of 21 July 2009.

Asien erlebt Jahrhundert-Sonnenfinsternis - German paper about eclipse tourism: Welt vom 20. Juli 2009.

Teacher's 'obsession' takes him to China from the U.S.: LoHud of 20 July 2009.

Upcoming solar eclipse (July 22, 2009) - of science and superstition; links by Chaldaea on 20 July 2009.

TSE Causes Revolts in Schools in India - kind of: Astronomy Activities 2009 of 20 July 2009.

Eclipse cities put safety first in China: China Daily of 20 July 2009.

Jacksonville astronomer to lead expedition for historic eclipse to Micronesia: Jacksonville News of 20 July 2009.

Totale Sonnenfinsternis am Mittwoch in China - offizielle Worte via Radio China International am 20. Juli 2009.

Longest Solar Eclipse of the 21st Century - now also on Science@NASA on 20 July 2009.

Tourist boom expected for eclipse observation in China: Alibaba of 20 July 2009.

Duestere Aengste vor der Rekord-Sonnenfinsternis in Asien - die Spinner geben laut: Spiegel vom 20. Juli 2009.

Chasing the eclipse to China from Singapore: Straits Times of 20 July 2009.

Cloudy skies may play spoilsport on total solar eclipse in India: The Hindu of 20 July 2009.

Eye in the sky: Scientists ready for century's longest eclipse in India: DNA of 19 July 2009.

Waiting for the eclipse - with a halo over Shanghai: SpaceWeather of 19 July 2009.

Of lovers, dragons and trickery - big collection of eclipse myths by The Star on 19 July 2009.

Save the Eclipse: An Open Letter to the Honorable Han Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, by Shanhai Scrap on 19 July 2009.

State Council urges preparations for inconveniences, bad impact brought by coming solar eclipse - weird story by Xinhua on 19 July 2009.

Dense cloud threatens to keep eclipse watchers in the dark in Shanghai: Shanghai Daily of 18 July 2009 (more).

Solar eclipse attracts worldwide astronomers: a preview - incl. Wuzhen preparations! - by CCTV on 18 July 2009.

CWB advises public on eclipse in Taiwan: Taipei Times of 18 July 2009.

Solar eclipse attracts worldwide astronomers to China: CCTV of 17 July 2009.

IAU astronomer to observe eclipse with young Chinese astronomy fans - a video & transcript by XHTV of 17 July 2009.

Eclipse shines on tourism in China: China Daily of 17 July 2009 (Sidebar).

Indian students on solar eclipse 'odyssey' to China, heading for Anqing: Sindh Today of 17 July 2009.

China ready to watch total solar eclipse - some pictures by Xinhua on 17 July 2009.

July 22 eclipse: Public release of Hinode eclipse movie in Japan: Cosmic Diary of 17 July 2009.

Stargazers descend on Indian town for longest solar eclipse, namely Taregana: The Herald of 17 July 2009.

In a month, 3 eclipses back to back, first time in several centuries: Express of 16 July 2009.

IIA to keep an eye on total eclipse from China - Indian astronomers in China: Express of 16 July 2009.

Expert gives advice on photographing total solar eclipse in China: ChinaTibet of 16 July 2009.

Eclipse fever in India village, namely Taregna: BBC of 14 July 2009.

500 foreign stargazers to observe total solar eclipse in E. China in Haiyan County: China.org of 14 July 2009 (also CCTV).

Expedition Sonnenfinsternis - C. Liefke reist ab: KosmoLogs vom 13. Juli 2009.

Finished packing for two weeks in China. And a total solar eclipse ... if it's not cloudy: Seth Shostak tweet of 13 July 2009.

Der laengste Schatten - eine Schweizer Zeitung ueber Jay Pasachoffs China-Plaene: NZZ vom 12. Juli 2009.

Arrangements for pilgrims at Kurukshetra for solar eclipse, "in order to promote Kurukshetra as a world class tourist destination": WebIndia123 of 12 July 2009.

They've got their eclipse tickets for Jetlite's special Eclipse Flight from Delhi: Hindustan Times of 11 July 2009. Also QuickOnlineTips and Times of India of 12 July 2009.

PAGASA should issue an erratum - bad eclipse advice in the Philippines charged: Solareclipse2009 of 11 July 2009. Related: PinoyMeetsWorld of 12 July 2009.

For total solar eclipse, travel to Asia, or Griffith Observatory - not really: LA Times of 10 July 2009.

Herschel's intrepid Science Operations Manager will finally take a well-deserved break on Monday to go to China for the eclipse, says a Herschel Tweet on 10 July 2009 - and there's more ...

The 2008 August 1 Eclipse Solar-Minimum Corona Unraveled - a paper by lots of famous authors on Arxiv since 9 July 2009.

Das Objektiv neben den Socken - 2 Ascherslebener wollen totale Sonnenfinsternis von Shanghai aus beobachten: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung vom 9. Juli 2009.

Solar eclipse popularises astro-tourism in India: "an overwhelming response for chartered flights" reported by DNA India on 9 July 2009.

total solar eclipse of the heart (in china!) - a blogger decides to go: AstroPixie of 9 July 2009.

14 days to the longest Total solar Eclipse of the century - just a reminder from EclipseChasersAthenaeum on 8 July 2009.

Eckehard Schmidt organisiert Sonnenfinsternis-Reisen, auch nach China: Nuernberger Zeitung vom 8. Juli 2009.

Zwei ESA-Satellitchen sollen den ultimativen Koronographen bilden - wie PROBA-3 der inneren Sonnekorona (bisher Domaene der SoFi-Beobachter) nachstellen soll: Skyweek vom 8. Juli 2009.

Schwarze Sonne verdunkelt die Liebe, gefaehrdet Ehen - what the idiots have to say about TSE 2009 and their fellow idiots consider fit to print on 8 July 2009 ... Also: another, err, different view of TSE 2009. Or look at this. Or bizarre advice from Malaysia ... (And then the idiots strike again ...)

Shanghai Solar Eclipse on wx always being a risk - from the Philippine blog Solar Eclipse 2009 of 7 July 2009.

Bhutan's year of science from solar eclipse day - The education ministry will declare 2009 as the "Bhutan Year of Science and Technology" on July 22: Kuensel of 7 July 2009.

Total solar eclipse: the cosmic event of the last 2,000 years - China "will be the center of the universe": Shanghai Daily of 6 July 2009.

L'éclipse de soleil vue de Sheshan - organized observing: La France en Chine of 6 July 2009.

The Great Eclipse of 2009 - article by Espenak & Anderson for Sky & Tel. Online of 6 July 2009. Also: Examiner of 5 July 2009.

Skies ready for triple eclipse - "nature's grand spectacle": Sindh Today of 5 July 2009.

Enthusiasts chase solar eclipses around the world - general article on umbraphiles in the Dallas News of 2 July 2009.

Im Sonnenfinsternis-Fieber - jemand wird allmaehlich aufgeregt, in den KosmoLogs vom 2. Juli 2009.

Total Solar Eclipse 2009: the guide from a Chinese perspective: Urbanatomy of 29 June 2009.

IAF to join scientific community in solar eclipse tests - the Indian Air Force will join the scientific community in carrying out tests and filming the solar eclipse on July 22 this year by flying a fighter jet and a transport aircraft that day: PTI of 29 June 2009.

Stargazers await celestial extravaganza - July 22 will mark the start of a series of rare celestial events: Times of India of 29 June 2009.

Im Bann der Sterne und Planeten - zwei Amateur-Astronomen aus Oberkirch erzaehlen von ihrer Leidenschaft: Baden Online vom 23. Juni 2009.

Rare triple treat - 3 eclipses in a month: Indian superstitions resurfacing again, like in 1995 and 1980 and ... in Rediff of 22 June 2009. Also a comment.

Worldwide broadcast for July's solar eclipse by the Chinese Astronomical Society: IYA Update of 22 June 2009.

Countdown begins for solar eclipse on July 22 - in India: Times of India of 22 June 2009.

Chasing the China Total Solar Eclipse 2009! As expats in China see it in Expat Corner of 19 June 2009.

Total solar eclipse: Nalanda, Shanghai on astronomers' itinerary from India: Indian Express of 19 June 2009.

Astronomer announces century's longest total eclipse July 22 - "many Chinese people are enthusiastically waiting for the arrival of the rare astronomical event": Taiwan News of 18 June 2009.

Solar eclipse during IYA2009 may unveil cosmic secrets - another "ad" for the Nature story (currently available freely!) from the IYA secretariat on 15 June 2009.

China to witness longest total solar eclipse in 500 years - w.r.t. China that is: Xinhua of 14 June 2009 [alt. version].

Czech scientists take photos of solar corona - Druckmueller on Nature's cover makes even news for Xinhua of 12 June 2009.

Caltech visiting associate champions the study of solar eclipses in the modern era - Pasachoff's Nature cover story: Caltech Release (also Williams Collage Release) of 10 June 2009.

China's solar eclipse: Feel the power of the dark side - people will travel thousands of miles to China next month to view the solar eclipse: Telegraph of 4 June 2009.

City draws up plans for solar eclipse (lights on, traffic to stop in Shanghai): Shanghai Daily of 3 June 2009, also Shanghai.gov, EastDay.

Exploring the Sun on Shadia Habbal's eclipse adventures: Malamalama (Univ. of HI) of 1 June 2009.

Scientific observations at total solar eclipses - review by Jay Pasachoff on the occasion of the July TSE: Res. Astron. Astrophys. #6 of June 2009 (22-page paper may or may not be freely available).

Solar eclipse darkening Shanghai in two months - the best place to watch the event from will be the Sheshan astronomical observatory, believes the Shangaiist on 23 May 2009.

Your best view of the solar eclipse in Shanghai: Shanghai.gov of 21 May 2009.

Scientists: China the best place to observe longest solar eclipse in 2,000 years - Chinese preview by Xinhua on 19 May 2009, also here.

Sonnenfinsternis am 22. Juli in China am besten sichtbar - Wissenschaftler (ein russischer Artikel auf Deutsch): Novosti vom 19. Mai 2009.

Eclipse Chasing, in Pursuit of Total Awe - a selection of (way too expensive) China trips in the New York Times of 17 May 2009.

Shanghai, Total Solar Eclipse 2009 - someone's travel plans: Black Holes & Astrostuff of 13 May 2009.

Darkness will descend upon Shanghai (traffic chaos predicted; little else): Shanghai Scrap of 7 May 2009.

When the Sun Goes Dark - a Long Eclipse in an Exotic Land: Senior Times Magazine of May 2009.

India Prepares for the Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the 21st century: IndiaPRwire of 16 Dec 2008.

Here comes the sun, but wait until next year for better view: Shanghai.gov of 1 August 2008.

Call for lights out to study sun eclipse in Shanghai: Shanghai Daily of 2 July 2008.

Tours are aligning to the east for 2009's total solar eclipse - and are way too expensive: USA Today of 25 Oct 2007.

Chinese sky gazers to see two total solar eclipses: China Daily of 12 Aug 2007.

The trip yours truly will be on as da astronomer

The Tour (fully booked; co-led by M. Kehr), a 2nd tour (still advertised here) and older, still older and even older flyers.

A video from the destination Wuzhen and more videos.

A Google Earth view of the trip zone.

The Fourth International Workshop on Cometary Astronomy in Shanghai on July 23 (1st Announcement; the hotel where some will stay).

Information on Shanghai and its surroundings, beyond the eclipse

Shanghai - Paris of the East (info in German)

A German and an English blog (another one) from Shanghai.

SheShan Observatory, with Chinese and English pages.

Google Maps via MapLandia of Jinshan and Wuzhen.

Qianjiang Tide Vacation Village as the best site to observe the "Tidal Bore of the Qiantang River".

McGlaun's page and Chinese phrases.

Travel reports from China (general region of 2009 TSE):

"T minus one year: Shanghai and its environs", a scouting report by yours truly of Shanghai, Wuzhen and the East coast.

"SEMINARREISE CHINA IM NOVEMBER 2006", report by A. Weidenbach.

Non-eclipse-related news from the Shanghai area and China in general

Ausschreitungen in Xinjiang - China am Pranger II: an unusually balanced view of the Xinjiang situation by Jetzt of 11 July 2009. And the usual view by ZEIT of 9 July 2009.

Die balancierte Stadt - Deutschlands Pavillon fuer die Expo 2010 in Shanghai feiert Richtfest: Welt of 8 July 2009.

City stops on-board flu checks but will continue to check passenger's temperatures through scanners at airports: Shanghai Daily of 7 July 2009. Also: Deutsches Generalkonsulat Shanghai!

China blocks Twitter, Facebook, most Web 2.0 - Google and YouTube also censored: VatorNews of 7 July 2009.

Intense Rain Floods China and Vietnam in the wake of several days of extreme rain in early July 2009: NASA Earth Observatory of 6 July 2009.

Scores killed in China protests - violence in China's restive western region of Xinjiang has left at least 140 people dead: BBC of 6 July 2009 (w/video). Also: Tagesschau, NYT Blog, Sueddeutsche. And: The Big Picture ...

Beihilfe zum Selbstschutz - Die chinesische "grosse Mauer" der Zensur steht noch, wird aber zunehmend bruechig, says the NZZ of 6 July 2009.

China environmental phenomena monitored from space with InSAR: ESA Press Release of 3 July 2009.

Wuhan city caught in deep rainwater - impressive pictures by Sina on 30 June 2009.

China postpones controversial Web filter - industry groups, free-speech advocates had criticized censorship plan: AP of 30 June 2009. Also: Guardian, Tagesschau of 30 June 2009.

Nine held over Shanghai building collapse, raising fresh questions about corruption and shoddy practices in China's construction industry: Telegraph of 29 June 2009.

School group quarantined on China tour, again from Oz: ABC of 28 June 2009.

Haze over Eastern China - NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on June 25: Earth Observatory of 26 June 2009.

Hitze in China - temperatures > 40°C in recent days: Wetter24 of 25 June 2009.

Die Schattenseiten des chinesischen Aufstiegs aus Geographensicht: WissensLogs of 25 June 2009.

Travelers to China risk 'random' quarantine, the U.S. State Department warned: CNN of 20 June 2009. Also the State Dept. Travel Alert in question and the UK Foreign Office's view plus more coverage by San Diego Union(!), UPI, Australian.

Beijing hit by continuous rainfall, which may persist into next week: Gov.cn of 19 June 2009.

Twittering Bad Air Particles in Beijing - the U.S. Embassy operates a single station: TIME of 19 June 2009.

The Dunhuang chinese sky: a comprehensive study of the oldest known star atlas - a Preprint of 16 June 2009.

I sat next to a fever on my flight into Shanghai - how incoming plane passengers are screened: Shanghai Scrap of 14 June 2009.

"Ich hatte immer einen Riecher nach draussen" - Austrians at the Expo construction site: Tt.com of 13 June 2009.

China's Finest Telescope To Scan Most Celestial Spectra - the Chinese government officially unveiled the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST): Xinhua of 9 June 2009.

Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed line starts building - service starts in 2011: Gov.cn of 26 February 2009.

Das Ende der Harmonie - China in the economical crisis: Handelsblatt of 30 Dec 2008.

China lives through 'year of extremes' from the great highs of the Olympics to the lows of the Sichuan earthquake: NBC News of 20 Dec 2008.

China's pyjamas police fight Shanghai's daytime love of nightwear: Telegraph of 12 Dec 2008.

Chinese city downsizes for Unesco - hi-rises in Hangzhou have to go: BBC of 12 Dec 2008.

Shang-Highed: On Top of the World's Tallest Observatory, the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center: Gizmodo of 5 Nov 2008.

Some Ships Can't Reach Shanghai's New Terminal: NPR of 3 Nov 2008.

China reduces media freedoms, e.g. in internet cafes: Telegraph of 17 Oct 2008.

China will Regenwolken mit Raketen abschiessen - Wx manipulation for the Olympic Games: Welt of 19 June 2008.

"Umwelt-Spion am Himmel" beobachtet zunehmende Luftverschmutzung ueber Asien - satellite observations of Asian air pollution: PM der Uni Bremen of 19 May 2008.

Beijing, a city looking for the blues - the air situation: Scientific American of 12 May 2008.

Who'll Stop the Rain? China, Maybe - Wx manipulation for the Olympic Games: LiveScience Blog of 11 Apr 2008.

NASA Satellite Measures Pollution From East Asia to North America: NASA Feature of 17 March 2008.

In Memoriam: The Shanghai Astronomical Observatory - the pro's move away: Shanghai Scrap of 24 Jan 2008.

Chinesen wollen Regen mit Chemie verhindern - Wx manipulation for the Olympic Games planned: Welt of 17 July 2007.

Massensterben durch Umweltverschmutzung - environmental trouble in China: Welt of 5 July 2007.

Mega-City - Shanghai bricht alle Rekorde: Max of 2007.

CHINA - WELTMACHT IM AUFBRUCH, website for an episode of the TV series Planet Wissen of 12 Oct 2006.

Urbanites head for new life in suburbs of Shanghai: China Daily of 3 July 2006.

Pollution From Chinese Coal Casts a Global Shadow: New York Times of 11 June 2006.

Links hat Vorfahrt - mit dem Fahrrad durch Shanghai: ZEIT of 20 April 2006.

Visited Yangshan Deep Water Port: Wangjianshuo of 20 April 2006.

Shanghai opens new shipping port (which is cut by the central line): New York Times of 11 Dec 2005.

Shanghai's deep-water port starts operation: People's Daily of 10 Dec 2005; also the Wikipedia page.

Stargazers prepare for Mars close-up at the 2003 opposition - in Shanghai: China Daily of 27 Aug 2003 (the same group in Weizixia in 2008).

Japan ... not a real alternative for most

Regional promotion with total solar eclipse - souvenirs in Japan: Cosmic Diary of 27 May 2009.

SoFi 2009 in Japan - KosmoLogs of 22 May 2009.

TOTAL ECLIPSE PANIC 2009 in JAPAN: YouTube of 23 Jul 2007.

And plans for India (8 pg. PDF)


From: "Jay Anderson"
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 13:34:49 -0500

Aram Kaprielian and I scouted for both 2008 and 2009 - we spent 5 weeks looking over the sites and other things associated with TravelQuest's business.

Weather prospects will not be a big factor in 2009 - the weather is hot and humid - and I mean humid - so humid that prolonged outdoor activities will be very uncomfortable for most North Americans and Europeans. The only fellow we met that enjoyed the weather was from Louisiana. Anyway, because China and India are in their monsoon seasons, the cloud cover is relatively even and heavy over large areas. There is more sunshine in China than India, and so China will be the preferred location. It should be kept in mind however, that China is still a very sunny place in July, in spite of the wet season. Statistics can be found at www.eclipser.ca.

The most important parameter in choice of an eclipse site is likely to be the duration of the eclipse, which increases dramatically across China. You can get up to about 5:53 on the east coast of China - anything more than than will require shipboard travel or travel to small Japanese islands.

It is typhoon season and when a typhoon comes ashore, it fills the south and central part of China with low level cloud that takes about 4 days to burn off. A typhoon is possible anywhere along the coast (there were two while we were there), and so you takes your chances, so to speak. However the coast does offer three other advantages - the pollution is much less and skies are clearer when the winds blow onshore, the temperatures are cooler, and the convective cloudiness is reduced because of the cooler water nearby. The disadvantage with the coast is likely to be an increase in wind speeds in exposed locations.

The cloud signals are a bit mixed, but your choice of location is likely to be a good one - though you won't see all of that six and a half minutes.

Jay Anderson

From: "Jay Anderson"
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 23:39:03 -0500
Subject: RE: [SEML] TSE 2009 - eclipse sites in China

You had to be there. While cloud amounts are high, cloud opacity is relatively low. Here in North America, it's about the same July cloud amount as over southern Arizona or in the area from Montreal to Washington.

As for mobility options, there are three problems:

- its too hazy to see the cloud at any distance, so you can't find the holes very easily

- the satellite coverage is poor (the satellites exist, but their high-resolution images are not given out on the web)

- the cloud is convective, so the holes are small and always moving - you might be move only to find your original location turned out to be better

But it is a little better offshore - you should be able to find someone with a boat. Or go to Iwo Jima - it's not on the centre line but you will get into a better area for cloud statistics.

Better yet - go to the 2008 eclipse - it has much better prospects.

Jay

From: Glenn Schneider
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 09:26:21 -0700
Subject: RE: [SEML] TSE 2009 - eclipse sites in China

Tony Crocker wrote: >>I don't understand how anyone can say "China is still a very sunny place in July" when the mean cloud cover exceeds 60% at all quoted locations and the sum of "clear and scattered cloud" rarely exceeds 30%.<<

Jay Anderson replied: >>You had to be there. While cloud amounts are high, cloud opacity is relatively low. Here in North America, it's about the same July cloud amount as over southern Arizona or in the area from Montreal to Washington.<<

I defer to Jay's expertise in his interpretation on the cloud cover situation in China - but the analogy to the summer cloud amount over SW Arizona (where I live) has me concerned. July/August are our cloudiest months with the onset of the summer monsoon. Here in this part of the Sonoran desert we average about 12" of rain a year (making it the wettest desert on Earth, but still technically a desert). This year we had a whopping 5.4" of rain (accompanied by frequent HIGH opacity cloud) in July, and 3.0" in August. Great for the "garden" (I grow rocks) and tranient mosquitoes, but you can see why we shut down our optical observatories in the summer months for annual maintenance. The actual number of "clear" [usable] nights is very small. These MAY seem like small rainfall amounts to those who live wetter environments, but indeed if the cloud amount is similar to Tucson (though as Jay specifically says later of low opacity, where we get Cumulous, etc.), equating this to southern Arizona makes me a bit queazy - possibly unnecessarily.

Also: >>It seems to me that anyone going to TSE2009 should have mobility options or else they are more likely than not to be clouded out. Glenn Schneider had air backup in Turkey this March, and I believe the weather odds there were better than for any single location listed for 2009.<<

I fully agree with the first statement, but would alter it to say that "anyone going to TSX#### should have mobility options..." where #### is applicable to all TSE's! Of course the degree, ease/complexity, and cost of mobility for some eclipses are vastly different (better or worse) than others. Airborne is the great "equalizer" , if it can be arranged. There is great comfort knowing you can be above 4/5th's of the Earth's turbulent and variable-opacity atmosphere with > 99% certainty. We did have this in place in Turkey, but the "weather odds" played out favorably and we released the planes before the eclipse. I am working on air options for the next two TSEs, and expect to be able to "announce" the first of those plans in detail to SEMLers in or about mid-October. So, standby and keep the engines primed...

-GS-

From: "Jay Anderson"
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 13:42:23 -0500

Hi Glenn:

Actually I was hoping someone from AZ would reply, because your description gives a pretty good idea of what China is like. Aram and I were there when two typhoons hit the country and Beijing had 26 days of rain in July with extensive flooding, but there were still many days on end when the sun shone continuously. One of the reasons that China has extensive convective clouds is because it gets so much sunshine - the data in the charts are for the time of the eclipse, after the clouds have begun to build for the day following a sunny morning. Clouds - at least some kinds of them - will dissipate during the eclipse and the probability of seeing the event is probably a little better than the "pure" percent of possible sunshine figure.

To put it in perspective however, the percent of possible sunshine for the better areas in China runs up as high as 62%, and is above 50% for the Shanghai area, so it seems that the two descriptions can be accommodated, at least in part of the track. The intent of the comment is to encourage eclipse travellers not to get hooked on the numbers, but to take a more holistic approach. Setting up on the coast in 2009 for instance, where sea breezes help to moderate the cloudiness, will probably offer another 5 percent (or more?) to the probabilities calculated at the inland observing sites that appear on my web pages.

It ain't the Sahara desert, but it's not too bad given the attraction of such a long event. Don't skip it just because the cloud statistics look a little pessimistic.

Jay

From: "Jay Anderson"
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 13:53:30 -0500

Wuhan doesn't have quite the same levels of pollution as Bejing and other parts of China, and the influence of the haze, even in the city, would not significantly affect the view of the eclipse (it's high enough in the sky) unless you wanted a very deep corona. My assessment of the place is that the eclipse could be quite easily observed from the middle of the city (at the cost of a few seconds of totality). Wuhan airport is on the centre line but it's kind of cramped and there are no readily-accessible open spots there (but construction is booming and something may change).

The city transitions to rural countryside fairly quickly, and the air is certainly cleaner even a short distance away. Traffic is not likely to be a big problem for you once you make it to the highways, as the roads are pretty decent (and are toll roads, which limits the traffic a bit). Finding a site and getting permission to use it will be more of a challenge. The countryside is quite attractive, with trees and farms and lakes and rolling hills, but the closest park and resort outside the city is a bit too far off the centreline to the north to be a first choice.

You will lose time as you go west - Wuhan is something like 5:15 - so keep the distance small.

Jay