Solar Eclipse - 21 August 2017


On August 21, a rare celestial event will be visible across Canada: a partial solar eclipse. 

People in a thin band in the United States will have the chance to witness a total eclipse where the Moon will completely cover the Sun. In Canada, the Moon will only cover part of the Sun and the eclipse will be partial. This fraction of the hidden Sun will range from about 90% in the Vancouver area to less than 20% in the Canadian North.

Solar Eclipse in Canada

Click on the picture to enlarge it. 


The times on the map indicate when the eclipse will be at its maximum at that location. In general, the eclipse will start about 70 minutes before this time and will end 70 minutes afterward. For more details, visit (make sure to change the city). The app Totality, by Big Kid Science, is also an excellent tool to find the details at your exact location.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes exactly between the Sun and the Earth. Image not to scale. 


Observing the Eclipse

Since we're observing the Sun, it's very important to use proper eye protection.If you don't have eclipse glasses, join a local observing event. Also, make sure your eclipse glasses are from a reliable source as there are unfortunately counterfeit glasses being circulated and these are a real eye safety issue.

To observe the eclipse in your area, consider contacting

  - your local astronomy club;

  - the physics and astronomy departments at college or university;

  - your local planetarium, science centre or museum.

For other safe projection methods, check out this website. You will learn how to safely observe the eclipse with a pasta colander!

More Information

 - What is an eclipse?

 - Details for the August 21 eclipse

 - Activity ideas to model the eclipse

 - Video: Indigenous Perspectives on Solar Eclipses

If you'd like to get these documents in the original PowerPoint format, you can still register for our last webinar. You will then gain access to the webinar recording and the associated documents.