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Come Explore with The Planetary Society!

July 13-24, 2009

Join us on a journey to visit three of China’s most important cultural sites—Beijing, Xi’an & Hangzhou—before seeing the eclipse, July 22, 2009 at the mouth of the Qiantang River near the city of Hangzhou.

Prior to the eclipse, we will visit several of the places for which China has always been renowned. Trip leaders will also ensure that the group gets an honest and intimate perspective of the daily lives of the Chinese people, both urban and rural.

In Beijing, we will visit landmarks like the Forbidden City, extensively renovated for the 2008 Olympic Games, and Mutianyu, where the Great Wall winds sinuously along steep ridges that once formed the northern frontier of China’s “Middle Kingdom.” Xi’an, our second major destination, was China’s capital more than 2,000 years ago when the Qin Dynasty Emperor Huangdi interred several thousand life-sized horses and soldiers made of terra cotta clay. Xi’an is also the site of the recently excavated Banpo neolithic culture site.

Hangzhou, in the lake country of Zhejiang, eastern China, has been a resplendent city since the time of Marco Polo seven hundred years ago. We will spend a memorable day sampling the heritage of Hangzhou, and nearby West Lake, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in China.

At Yanguan, on the coast of eastern China, the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2009 will have a duration of totality of five minutes and 48 seconds, an impressive span of time.

The eclipse’s path of totality passes over a strip of Asia that extends from India to Shanghai. Although it will be potentially visible to many millions of people, there is always a possibility of cloud cover obscuring the eclipse. It is a mid-morning eclipse (about 9:30 a.m., local time) and mornings are more frequently sunny than other times of the day. Eclipse forecasters also believe that staying near the coast will give us the best eclipse-viewing weather.

Our program will conclude with a celebratory visit to Shanghai, the city which expresses China’s futuristic version most extravagantly.

Brochure (Requires an Adobe pdf reader to view)




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