On August 21, people across North America will be able to view a solar eclipse.
“The eclipse happens purely for geometric reasons” explained University of Victoria Astronomer Karun Thanjavur.
The magnificent display hasn’t been seen on this continent since 1979.
“It’s kind of a universal coincidence that the moon gets in between us and the sun,” said Thanjavur. “Basically, we are in the shadow of the moon during the eclipse. In Victoria, 90% of the sun will be blocked by the moon.”
Experts warn that looking at the sun is dangerous without proper protection which includes safety equipment to avoid eye damage.
Doctors say sunglasses are not dark enough to protect your eyes.
“The harmful rays are still coming through but we don’t have the brightness, so we can actually look at it and think we are actually not getting those harmful rays into the back of the eye, and in fact we are,” said Dr. Stephen Taylor, owner of the Mayfair Optometric Clinic in an interview with CHEK News earlier this month.
Both Taylor and Thanjavur recommend people join a viewing event staffed by experts where proper gear including eclipse glasses and solar telescopes will be provided.
The Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be hosting three events at the following locations:
- in front of the Bell Tower at the Royal B.C. Museum at 675 Belleville Street in Victoria
- at the Cricket Pitch in Metchosin behind the Fire Hall at 4400 Happy Valley Road
- at Mount Tolmie Park off Cedar Hill X Road in Saanich
The observatory at the University of Victoria’s Bob Wright Centre will also be hosting a special viewing event.
UVic astronomers will be on hand to answer questions about the display.
The event will also be live streamed on NASA’s website.
The eclipse will take place Monday, August 21, 2017, beginning at 9:08 a.m. and ending at 11:38 a.m.
The eclipse’s peak is predicted to happen at 10:20 a.m.
WATCH BELOW: Build your own solar eclipse projector with a monocular.
How to Solar Eclipse Ceilidh.mpg
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