The longest solar eclipse of the century set to take place on Wednesday, July 22 in Asia and will last over 6 and a half minutes.

The eclipse will first be sighted at dawn Wednesday in India's Gulf of Khambhat, just north of the metropolis of Mumbai, before being seen in a broad swath moving north and east to Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China.

The eclipse will reach its peak in India at about 6:20 a.m. local time (8:50 p.m. EDT; 0050 GMT), and will last 6 minutes and 39 seconds.

It is the longest such eclipse since July 11, 1991, when a total eclipse lasting 6 minutes, 53 seconds was visible from Hawaii to South America.

We are hoping to make some valuable observations on the formation of asteroids around the sun, Pankaj Bhama, a scientist with India's Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators, said Tuesday.

The next partial solar eclipse will occur in January 2010, and the next total solar eclipse is estimated for July 2010. The latter may be visible from points along the Pacific coast of South America. The next sun eclipse that will be visible from parts of North America will likely take place in 2011.