Total Solar Eclipse: 2009 July 22

Costa Classica in Jeju, South Korea

Iwo Jima


The route of the 'Eclipse of the Century' cruise

Crowded mid-deck area

Booby hunting flying fish between 1st and 2nd contact

I was onboard the cruise ship Costa Classica that departed from Tianjin (Beijing) on Friday 17th July 2009. Despite poor conditions over the Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of China, South Korea and Japan, the eclipse centre line was pretty clear and the sea calm. The few cumulus clouds around the horizon added to the beauty of the eclipse standing out against the wonderful 'sunset colours' around the horizon and reflected in the water. Solar activity was low and apart from some minor chromospheric activity, only a solitary prominence was seen towards the end of totality. Earthshine on the Moon was particularly bright and some observers reported seeing it through binoculars. The corona's apperance was as expected for solar minimum.

Contact times (uncorrected for lunar profile):

Event Position UT
1st Contact 141 46' 18" East 25 04' 55" North 01:02:18
2nd Contact 142 02' 24" East 25 15' 51" North 02:25:47
Maximum 142 03' 10" East 25 15' 33" North 02:29:06
3rd Contact 142 03' 42" East 25 15' 20" North 02:32:29
4th Contact 142 00' 53" East 25 24' 16" North 03:53:25

Duration: 6 minutes 42 seconds, extended duration of 3 seconds due to 9 knot speed of the ship along eclipse track.

Here are a few preliminary images obtained with the Borg 101ED.

2nd Contact




The thermochron recorded a drop of 5.5 degrees during the eclipse, with a ten minute delay after 3rd contact before the temperature started to rise again:

Here is a zipped file of the route followed by the ship: (right-click, thenSave Link As and unzip...) that can be opened in Google Earth. Google Earth overlay from Xavier Jubier.

This link is to the Costa website which shows the current location of the whole fleet. Locate and click on the icon for the Classica to go to a page showing the ships's current track, and a link to a webcam.

Eclipse flag


Eclipse day sunset

Back to Eclipse page


Copyright Nick Quinn, 2009 August 01