You’ll want to remember the warnings your parents gave you about looking directly at the sun, because in exactly a month, the longest total eclipse of the 21st century will be visible from Shanghai on Wednesday, July 22.
A total eclipse is when the a full New Moon passes between the earth and sun, casting its shadow over the earth while in the path of the suns light.
It will be visible for a total of 5 minutes and 9 seconds in Shanghai and at its maximum eclipse point will reach 6 minutes and 39 seconds – the closest land mass to that point will be North Iwo Jima Island. NASA has provided a website with more detailed information.
Those of us in Shanghai are lucky enough to have one of the best seats in the world for this historical event. The last time a solar eclipse took place over Shanghai was during the Ming Dynasty on May 10, 1575. The next time we’ll see a total eclipse will not be until June 13, 2132.
The best place to watch the event from will be the Sheshan astronomical observatory and there are several different tours that cater to people anticipating this very moment (and maybe hope to see a little more of China along the way).
For those of us who actually reside in Shanghai, it’d probably just be a day trip – if you’re willing to wake up early to make the 9:36am total eclipse. Or, if waking up at 5am to make the trek sounds terrible to you (it sounds pretty terrible to us), you could always book a hotel. Better do it soon though – they’re already running out of rooms.
And we mustn’t forget: Just because the sun’s being blocked doesn’t mean it’s safe to look directly at it. MrEclipse.com has some handy tips for protecting your eyes.