Partial eclipse visible Tuesday


POSTED: Sunday, July 19, 2009

A portion of the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century in Asia will be visible in Hawaii late Tuesday, barring cloudy weather.

The moon will take a “;small bite”; out of the sun over Hawaii starting about 5:20 p.m. and ending about 6:14 p.m., roughly an hour before sunset, said Mike Shanahan, Bishop Museum director of exhibits, education and planetarium.

The times are about the same throughout the Islands but will vary slightly depending on location, Shanahan said. He said 10 percent of the sun will be blocked out at the peak.

It will be Wednesday in Asia when the total eclipse is visible there, but it passes over Hawaii late Tuesday, Shanahan said.

NASA said the path of the moon's umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before curving south across the Pacific Ocean.

“;It will be spectacular if you're in Shanghai,”; Shanahan said.

The last partial eclipse visible in Hawaii was on Oct. 13, 2004, Shanahan said. Just under one-third of the sun was blocked out at maximum coverage at sunset, then 6 p.m. in Honolulu, he said.

The Bishop Museum Planetarium show “;The Sky Tonight”; is providing information in its “;The Sky Tonight”; shows at 11:30 a.m. today and Monday on how to view the event. But no viewing is planned there because the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

“;We debated having an event,”; Shanahan said. “;But often the sun is behind the clouds late in the day.”;