Eclipse 2009 path in Asia
Scientists, students and nature enthusiasts gathered along the path of the sun where the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century would be visible.
Heavy cloud cover and overnight rains threatened to spoil the party at least in parts of India and Japan.
This eclipse - visible only in Asia - reached its peak in China at about 9.20am local time (2.20am GMT) .
In Singapore the eclipse was expected to only reach about 20% max. so the expectations were not very high. Besides that we had quite heavy rains since the morning therefore we mainly were able to look at dark clouds.
Check here photos from the live coverage on China's CCTV10:Sudden pitch darkness at 9 am
Building and street lights had to be turned on
Thousands of Chinese were gathered to watch this eclipse, for most of them a once in a lifetime experience. I was very lucky to experience a total solar eclipse on August 11, 1999 - about 2pm in Austria. It was a kind of creepy feeling as suddenly the birds disappered from the sky and stopped singing. The nature seemed to have stopped breathing and suddenly it was competely dark. After a few minutes the birds were the frist ones to appear and flying again and everything was back to normal.
Big TV screens were set up for everyone to watch closely.
At its peak it was due to last for six minutes and 39 seconds in some parts of Asia which was the longest such eclipse since JUly 11, 1991, when a total eclipse lasing six minutes and 53 seconds was visible from Hawaii to South America.