The Saros Cycle and a Solar Eclipse

Animated image of the solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

Animated image of the solar eclipse of July 22, 2009

The Saros cycle is an eclipse cycle with a period of about 18 years 11 days 8 hours that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon.

The eclipse is part of series 136 in the Saros cycle, like the record setting Solar eclipse of July 11, 1991.

The exceptional duration is a result of the moon being near perigee, with the diameter of the moon 8% larger than the sun (magnitude 1.080). This is second in the series of three eclipses in a month. There was a lunar eclipse on July 7 and now a solar eclipse on July 22 and then a lunar eclipse on August 6.

This solar eclipse will last for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, in the maximum visibility area.

For more information, check out the Wikipedia page, Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009.

If you’re interested in ways to view the event online, NASA has some great resources. You can also get some great information about the eclipse and how to watch it at Techdreams.

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