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Chinese teenagers guide world astronomical fans on July 22 solar eclipse observation

2009-07-16 08:34 BJT

Special Report: View Solar Eclipse |

HANGZHOU, July 15 (Xinhua) -- A guidebook for observing the July 22 solar eclipse written by three Chinese teenagers has been commended by Jay Pasachoff, head of the Solar Eclipse Working Group of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

"They provided detailed information for astronomical researchers and lovers all over the world," said Pasachoff, who visited the students' school in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Tuesday.

The professor said he will watch the scene at one of the 23 sites recommended by the Chinese students in Tianhuangping, Anji County, Zhejiang.

World astronomers have predicted that the July 22 solar eclipse will pass over India and China in its path of totality lasting 6 minutes 30 seconds.

Wang Sichao, an expert with the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences based in east China's Nanjing City,said the total eclipse to occur in the morning will be the longest of its kind in 141 years from July 11, 1991 to June 13, 2132. It can be observed in 42 cities in China's most populous Yangtze River Valley.

"The number of people watching the solar eclipse will make a historical record, since previous solar eclipses can only be best observed in desolate regions," said the expert.

The three Chinese students of the Hangzhou Senior High School started their project two years ago. They traveled 1,400 km along the solar eclipse stripe line in China with GPS devices, and selected 23 best observation sites.