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Solar Eclipse of July 11
The second solar eclipse of 2010 occurs at the Moon's descending node in central Gemini just 45 arc-minutes east of the 3rd magnitude star Delta Geminorum. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow crosses the South Pacific Ocean where it makes no landfall except for Mangaia (Cook Islands), Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and several isolated atolls. The path of totality ends just after reaching southern Chile and Argentina (Espenak and Anderson, 2008). The Moon's penumbral shadow produces a partial eclipse visible from a much larger region covering the South Pacific and southern South America (Figure 3).
The central eclipse path begins in the South Pacific about 700 km southeast of Tonga at 18:15 UT. Traveling northeast, the track misses Rarotonga - the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands - by just 25 km. The first landfall occurs at Mangaia where the total eclipse lasts 3 minutes 18 seconds with the Sun 14° above the horizon.
The southern coast line of French Polynesia's Tahiti lies a tantalizing 20 km north of the eclipse path and experiences a deep 0.996 magnitude partial eclipse at 18:28 UT. Several cruises are already scheduled to intercept the umbral shadow from Papeete.