A Spectacular Celestial Event

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Learn About the Exciting Upcoming Solar Eclipse

An exciting celestial phenomenon is approaching! On April 8th, the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on our planet and creating a breathtaking display in the sky, known as a solar eclipse. The eclipse’s path will cross through Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

As educators and caretakers, it is important to ensure that children and young adults can safely experience this rare event. Here are some suggestions to help your curious scientists enjoy the wonders of a solar eclipse responsibly.

Plan Ahead:

Research the timing and the path of the eclipse in your location to ensure that you don’t miss this extraordinary event.

Hamilton will be among the few places in North America to experience a total solar eclipse. The eclipse will start at 2:03 pm and end by 4:30 pm. The Moon will completely block the Sun for 96 seconds starting at 3:18 pm, turning the mid-afternoon into midnight and filling the sky with stars.

Other locations include Point Pelee National Park, Long Point Provincial Park, Niagara Region, and Montreal. Find more detailed information here.

Even if you aren’t in the path of totality, it will be a very impressive event! Your preparations will be worth it.

Use Proper Eye Protection:

Ensure that everyone has certified solar viewing glasses or solar filters for telescopes/binoculars to observe the solar eclipse. Watching an eclipse without adequate or proper eye protection can cause serious eye damage. Regular sunglasses, binoculars, and telescopes do NOT count as proper protection.

For more information on how to watch the eclipse safely, please refer to the Canadian Space Agency website, or NASA’s website.

Project the Eclipse:

No glasses? Try a pinhole camera!

An alternative way to view the eclipse safely is by projecting the image of the sun onto a surface. Create a pinhole projector using cardboard or use a telescope to project the image onto a whiteboard or piece of paper. This is a simple and inexpensive devise that allows for safe viewing of the eclipse. Choosing this method allows several people to view the eclipse simultaneously without looking directly at the sun.

Create your pinhole projector following these simple instructions from NASA

Interested in more educational resources that pique the minds of space enthusiasts?

  • Workshops: Our hands-on STEM enrichment program includes an investigative classroom workshop that explores Our Place in Space.

Book Our Place in Space: Explore Earth’s relationships within our solar system. Discover how to tell time using the sun and an instrument you keep in your pocket. Examine the phases of the moon with the help of a special device. Construct and test technology used at the International Space Station. Find out more about our place in space! Offered online across Canada: AB Grades 4-6, NB Grade 8, all other provinces Grade 6

Watch Kumudu Jinadasa, Project Engineer and Mission Manager with the Canadian Space Agency, premiering on March 21st, 12:45 pm EST on our YouTube channel.

Watch Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, Canadian astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the first Indigenous woman in Canada to obtain a PhD in astrophysics!

Watch Dr. Parshati Patel, astrophysicist and science communicator, passionate about stars, galaxies, and space.

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