Explore with The Planetary Society!
CHINA'S 2009 ECLIPSE EXPEDITION
Join us on a journey to visit three of China’s
most important cultural sites—Beijing, Xi’an
& Hangzhou—before seeing the eclipse, July
22, 2009 at the mouth of the Qiantang River near the
city of Hangzhou.
Prior to the eclipse, we will visit several of the places
for which China has always been renowned. Trip leaders
will also ensure that the group gets an honest and intimate
perspective of the daily lives of the Chinese people,
both urban and rural.
In Beijing, we will visit landmarks like the Forbidden
City, extensively renovated for the 2008 Olympic Games,
and Mutianyu, where the Great Wall winds sinuously along
steep ridges that once formed the northern frontier
of China’s “Middle Kingdom.” Xi’an,
our second major destination, was China’s capital
more than 2,000 years ago when the Qin Dynasty Emperor
Huangdi interred several thousand life-sized horses
and soldiers made of terra cotta clay. Xi’an is
also the site of the recently excavated Banpo neolithic
Hangzhou, in the lake country of Zhejiang, eastern China,
has been a resplendent city since the time of Marco
Polo seven hundred years ago. We will spend a memorable
day sampling the heritage of Hangzhou, and nearby West
Lake, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in
At Yanguan, on the coast of eastern China, the Total
Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009 will have a duration
of totality of five minutes and 48 seconds, an impressive
span of time.
eclipse’s path of totality passes over a strip
of Asia that extends from India to Shanghai. Although
it will be potentially visible to many millions of people,
there is always a possibility of cloud cover obscuring
the eclipse. It is a mid-morning eclipse (about 9:30
a.m., local time) and mornings are more frequently sunny
than other times of the day. Eclipse forecasters also
believe that staying near the coast will give us the
best eclipse-viewing weather.
Our program will conclude with a celebratory visit to
Shanghai, the city which expresses China’s futuristic
version most extravagantly.
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