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Wukang Sinopec Station, China (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Wukang Sinopec Station, China

Map of Wukang Sinopec Station, China

Solar Eclipse Viewing Site Partial Phase of Solar Eclipse Over Sinopec Station Total Solar Eclipse Over Gas Station Solar Eclipse After 3rd Contact

You basic roadside gasoline station.


China Solar Eclipse

7/22/2009: We woke up early for eclipse day hoping to see the sunrise. Instead, the sky was 100% cloudy in every direction. For all purposes, it looked like we were hosed for seeing the eclipse. If that wasn't bad enough, it started raining.

With some help from the local weather report on television and some text messages from back home, we determined that we were on the southern edge of a huge storm system that was covering central to eastern China. Not to give up easily, we ignored the previous night's advice from Dr. Eclipse, and we all piled into a van to look for sunnier weather.

I don't think our driver quite understood our intentions. Instead of driving further south away from the storm, he drove off along the scenic route. We slowly traveled along mountain roads, and we did not get to any good highway conditions until about 20 minutes before second contact (totality). Not that it mattered anyway... we had barely seen even a glimpse of the sun up to that point. To make matters worse, our driver continued to drive at a very leisurely pace, and he finally stopped at a roadside gasoline station to refuel just minutes before the eclipse.

We had all given up hope by this point. But, while the driver gassed up the van, we started seeing small breaks in the clouds. These breaks afforded us a partially obscured view of the sun and the partial phase of the eclipse. Since our prospects looked poor anyway, we decided to wait it out at the gas station. Miraculously, the breaks in the clouds became more frequent as second contact approached. With just a few minutes to spare, a large gap in the clouds gave us an obscured, but acceptable view of the sun!

As the sky went dark, the noise of the highway quieted to nothing. Everyone was stopping to check out the spectacle. The total phase of this eclipse was nearly six minutes at our location, and we were able to observe the sun during the entire time.

Previous Visit (Moganshan: 7/21/2009)
Next Visit (Hangzhou - Xi Hu: 7/23/2009)




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