Eclipse viewing events to be held nation wide

Canadians will throw various viewing events for the partial eclipse across the country

Canadians across the country will be donning special glasses and looking to the sky to take in a partial solar eclipse today.

Unlike the U.S., Canada won’t see a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun, blacking out the sky and turning day into night momentarily.

But Canadians are still in for a celestial show and viewing events are planned across the country, ranging from gatherings at the University of British Columbia to Irving Nature Park in Saint John, N.B.

Jennifer West of the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics explains that a partial eclipse looks like a “huge bite taken out of the sun.”

Victoria is expected to get the best view of the rare celestial event, with 90 per cent of the sun blocked out above the British Columbia capital. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada says Toronto will enjoy 70 per cent coverage, Calgary 77 per cent and Vancouver 86 per cent.

No matter where Canadians take in the event, they’re being cautioned to wear eclipse glasses to prevent serious eye damage.

Maggie Bockus, a retired school teacher in Saint John, N.B., said she expects watching the eclipse will make her feel “humble.”

“You think what you are doing is so important and then you look up and see the sun and the moon,” she said. “You are less than a grain of salt…against this backdrop of majesty and power.”

At Science World in Vancouver, a free event is being hosted on the grass outside the centre where eclipse glasses will be provided and volunteers from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will have solar telescopes, which have a filter that allows viewers to safely look at the sun.

The eclipse is expected to begin in Vancouver at around 9:40 a.m. local time, peak at 10:20 a.m., and the shadow should pass at 11:20 a.m., said Kat Kelly, a science facilitator at the centre.

“It creates a really eerie, kind of twilight effect,” she said. “It can actually affect birds and animals. They find it kind of strange. Things get very quiet. It’s just a really, really beautiful sight.”

At the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver’s astronomy museum, the centre’s astronomer, Derek Kief, said he’s looking forward to seeing night features in the daytime.

“I’m hoping to be able to see Venus, definitely, but also to be able to see Mars and potentially even some of the stars,” he said.

But Jaymie Matthews, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia, was skeptical that planets would be visible in Vancouver during the eclipse.

Matthews said he’s looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to the eclipse. The university is inviting visitors to join professors and students to observe the event with eclipse viewers and telescopes, while a live stream of the total eclipse will be presented inside the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.

In Toronto, the Dunlap Institute will be hosting a watching party at the Canadian National Exhibition, where about 20 astronomers will be at hand with solar telescopes and eclipse glasses.

The City of Toronto is clearing its outdoor pools for half an hour during the peak of the eclipse — between 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. local time — due to low sunlight levels.

Windsor, Ont., is also closing its six outdoor pools because of the eclipse. The city’s aquatics manager says it’s a precautionary move due to the fact swimmers would be unlikely to resist looking up at the sky, even without protective eyewear.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Manipulating water temperatures in the Nechako River

The objective is to protect migrating sockeye salmon

POLICE REPORT: Inexperienced winter drivers rear-end logging truck, YRB snowplow

Vanderhoof RCMP receive seven motor vehicle incident calls in first few days of snow

SD#91 iCubed tech and entrepreneurship youth summit a first for Northern B.C.

Students explore real world applications of entrepreneurial thinking

Fraser Lake honours service men, women and dogs

Canine Legion member “Sarge” places wreath at the Village Cenotaph

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Most Read