Wednesday, July 24, 2024

A rare total eclipse can be viewed in Belleville April 8. Here’s what you need to know

The 2017 solar eclipse as seen from Cerulean, Kentucky, USA. Photo by Jongsun Lee.

A major celestial event is happening on April 8, and Belleville is one of the few places in the world view it. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming rare total solar eclipse.

What time will the eclipse take place?

The full solar eclipse is set to take place between 2:08 and 4:33 p.m. in Belleville with period of totality (when the moon will completely block the sun) to occur is between 3:21 and 3:23 p.m. 

Why will you want to be in Belleville to experience the eclipse?

Belleville is in the path of totality and will experience a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will cross only a thin portion of Ontario (as shown on the map below), and only a small section of Canada. Cities outside of this path will only experience a partial eclipse.

A total eclipse is a rare event, and only those areas that are in the path of totality will have the full experience. The last time that a total solar eclipse was observed in Canada was 1979, in parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, northwestern Ontario, and northern Quebec.

Is the eclipse dangerous?

Not if you don’t look directly at the eclipse. It is important to NEVER look directly or indirectly at the sun throughout the duration of the eclipse. Viewing the eclipse without proper safety eyewear may cause damage to your retina. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe. In the event you do experience adverse reactions from the eclipse, please contact your eye care physician or Health 8-1-1.

How can I prepare for the eclipse?

There are a number of ways you can ensure you are ready for the total solar eclipse. 

  • Make sure you have proper ISO certified solar eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor or a safe handheld solar viewer. 
  • Plan your viewing location in a safe, unobstructed area, close to your home. Please avoid areas near fast-moving water, dams or other hazards. 
  •  Ensuring you have taken care of any errands ahead of time (grocery shopping, etc.) to avoid potential traffic caused by an influx of visitors who may be coming to the city on the day.
  • Consider downloading the What3Words app if you plan to view the event somewhere where it may be difficult to describe your location. This could help emergency services locate you should you need assistance.

Where can I find ISO certified solar eclipse glasses?

Check out this list of certified distributors.

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