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How Calgarians can safely view Monday’s solar eclipse

A highly-anticipated total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of eastern Canada on Monday, April 8, but there are opportunities to witness the rare celestial event in Calgary.

1979 was the last time parts of Canada got to experience this kind of eclipse.

The path of totality on Monday will allow parts of Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and Newfoundland to plunge into darkness in the middle of the day for a few minutes.

Western Canada isn’t close enough to the main event for such an experience, but residents there will be under a partial eclipse beginning at 11:48 a.m. MDT, hitting its maximum at 12:43 p.m. MDT and ending at 1:38 p.m.

The moon will cover almost 40 per cent of the sun over Calgary at its maximum.

Whether a partial or total solar eclipse, viewing the sun with unaided eyes is dangerous and it’s important people have the proper protection for viewing.

Simon Poole, past president of RASC-Calgary Centre, explains that solar glasses have a “material that filters out most of the light from the sun so that you can safely view the radiation from the sun… allowing to see the moon transit across the face of our near star.”

Solar eclipse events in Calgary

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory will be holding a special event for those interested in viewing the partial event by setting up a pop-up observatory at the University of Calgary campus.

Solar telescopes and a limited amount of eclipse glasses will be on hand to allow people to safely view the event.

The pop-up observatory will be located in the green space next to the engineering buildings and Taylor Institute.

The Telus Spark Science Centre in partnership with RASC-Calgary Centre is holding a partial solar eclipse viewing party.

The centre will have a pop-up observatory from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Telescopes and proper viewing glasses (one per family) will be available.

There will also be a special screening of Chasing Shadows in Spark’s Infinity Dome theatre at 11:15 a.m.

For those who want to see the total solar eclipse, Telus Spark will also be streaming a live video of the path of totality.

Ambrose University is also holding a partial solar eclipse pop-up observing event with the RASC-Calgary Centre.

The event will feature safe solar observing activities on site with astronomers present to guide your fun.

It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 150 Ambrose Cir. S.W.

More information on upcoming events can be found on the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s website.

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