Tag Archives: Astronomy Vacation

Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the 21st Century – North Iwo Jima Island

North Iwo Jima island will play host to the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century on July 22, 2009.

This solar eclipse will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132. Totality will last for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with the maximum eclipse occurring in the ocean at 02:35:21 UTC about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan. North Iwo Jima island is the landmass with totality time closest to maximum.

Starting in India along the western shore near Surat the path of the shadow heads towards Butan touching the southern tip of Nepal and the northern edge of Bangladesh. The eclipse passes over the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Suining, Chonging, Wuhan, Xiaogan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai by which time the duration of the eclipse is over five minutes of totality. Leaving Shanghai the path continues into the ocean encountering islands such as Toshima and Akusaki south of Japan and eventually the Marshall islands.

The maximum eclipse duration of 6 minutes and 39 seconds occurs far off the coast in the Pacific Ocean.

For those seeking the maximum time in totality the only option is a cruise ship located east and south of Japan. The mobility of a cruise ship to avoid bad weather well in advance will be very useful. Not only does a ship get you to the exact spot of longest totality, it also offers you total mobility in the process. Organizers say this is important for two reasons: 1) it can move you away from any clouds that might be blocking the view, and, 2) by moving forward with the eclipse as it’s happening, the ship can actually extend the duration by at least a few seconds.

2009 Eclipse Cruise

The cruise begins and ends in Tianjin (Beijing), China. Port calls include: Chejhu, South Korea; Kagoshima and Kobe, Japan. The ship spends two nights in Kobe. Optional fully escorted over night excursions include an overnight bullet train excursion to Tokyo or an over night excursion to Kyoto with tours planned for Kyoto and Osaka. For those wanting the ultimate Asian experience, optional tour extensions are available that include Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.

Prices start at just $2,599 for inside cabins and $3,643 for outside cabins. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and other restrictions apply – see the prices page for more details. A small number of single sole occupant cabins are available at affordable rates. Low cost group airfare will be available from many US and foreign air cities.

This is a special ship charter developed by Mayhugh Travel, Inc. for our travel partners. You can reserve your space here on line or simple call our toll free number (888) 412-5317 – from outside the US call +1 760 446 0050 give us you number and we will call you back. Don’t miss out on the greatest eclipse of the century!

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