Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bevy of solar eclipse events planned in Ottawa despite just missing path of totality

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On April 8, a total solar eclipse will pass over North America. The sun’s rays will be completely blocked by the moon along a path of totality, which will pass just south of the capital, hitting Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall, before sweeping over to Montreal.

For many, viewing a solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Although Ottawa is expected to see 98.5 per cent eclipse coverage, Carleton University Assistant Physics Professor Seyda Ipek recommends people try to make their way to the path of totality if possible.

This image shows the path of totality for the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse, where the sun will be fully obscured by the moon.

“It does get dark – I have seen totality twice before, and this will be my third time,” she said. “I’m really excited!”

Ipek will be sharing her excitement with others in the days leading up to the eclipse. An educational rundown will take place at the university on April 7 to prepare the public for the following day’s event.

“We will have a few Carleton professors talking about the science of the solar eclipse, and, if the weather allows, we will have solar telescopes set up to look at the sun before and during the eclipse as well.”

Various solar eclipse viewings will take place throughout the city the day of the eclipse – both Carleton University and University of Ottawa will host public events.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is holding is own from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the Canadian Museum of Nature is planning an event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both museums will offer educational programming for families and give free eclipse safety glasses with admission.

Museum of Nature Head of Programs Dana Albright says she is planning for a major turnout after various school boards shifted a PA day to April 8.

“It’s going to be a day where families are looking for something to do and we’re going to have eclipse-related activities happening here at the museum all day long,” she said. “We’re going to have some of our science interpreters on hand who are going to be talking about the science of the eclipse, what’s happening, and how to see it safely.”

In the event of bad weather, the museums will also be live streaming the eclipse.

At around 2:10 p.m., the moon will begin eclipsing the sun in Ottawa. The peak of the eclipse will take place around 3:25 p.m., seeing 98.5 per cent sun coverage, before ending around 4:40 p.m.

Ipek recommends residents make plans now if they want to witness the celestial event.

“The next time this will happen will be in about 375 years from now, so do catch it!” 

CTV News Ottawa will have special live coverage of Monday’s solar eclipse.

Watch from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 8. You can also tune in to Newstalk 580 CFRA for continuing coverage.

CTV News will have coverage from Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa and the Niagara Region.

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