“A dragon eating the sun”

In ancient times, people thought that solar eclipses were caused by a dragon eating the sun.

On Monday, a dragon will eat the sun over Singapore – but it’s only a partial eclipse (does that mean the dragon has indigestion?). Look westward between about 4:30pm and 6:30pm; at maximum eclipse (5:49pm), 72% of the sun’s disc will be covered by the moon, which is still a pretty good showing.

But if you want to see the ultimate – a total solar eclipse – it’s time to book your cruise tickets. On July 22nd, you can take a cruise out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for six minutes and forty seconds of totality – the longest total eclipse of the 21st century, and not much shorter than the longest possible total eclipse (seven minutes 40 seconds, although there aren’t any longer than 7:29 coming up for at least three thousand years).

Or if that sounds like too much hard work, you could always just book a flight to Shanghai.

The path of totality starts all the way out in India, sweeping across the entire country, then into China before heading out to meet the cruise passengers in the Pacific. And at 9:40am local time, the 19 million citizens of Shanghai (along with tens of millions of other people in the area) will see a spectacular five-minute-long total eclipse of the sunas long as it’s not cloudy.

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