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500 foreign stargazers to observe total solar eclipse in E. China
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More than 500 amateur astronomers from overseas have booked their hotels in Haiyan County in east China's Zhejiang Province to see a total solar eclipse this month, Zhu Jin, chief of the Beijing Planetarium, revealed Tuesday.

The foreign stargazers, from the United States, Denmark, Germany and other countries, together with Chinese amateur and professional astronomers have chosen the county because it will be the best spot on the globe to see the July 22 eclipse.

The county is at the highest point on the coast of Hangzhou Bay and the local rainy season has already passed, which will promise a clear and open view of the eclipse, which is estimated to last for nearly six minutes.

The Haiyan County government and Chinese Astronomical Society (CAS) are ready for receiving domestic and foreign observers. The county has set up several observing posts.

China will be the only country where this solar eclipse can be seen in its totality - when the moon comes fully between the earth and the sun and blocks its rays. The most recent solar eclipse in China occurred on Jan. 26 this year.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2009)

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