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Celestial Dance: Enjoying the April 8 Solar Eclipse Safely

As the celestial stage prepares for a rare spectacle, the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8th promises to captivate audiences across the globe. This natural phenomenon occurs when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow on our planet and temporarily dimming its brilliance.

In Ontario, the solar eclipse is expected to start at 2:04 PM and last for about two and a half hours on Monday, April 8th. Many parts of Ontario will experience a total eclipse (the sun is 100% blocked by the moon) at about 3:20 PM. These times will vary by a few minutes depending where in Ontario you are located.  

*information from Ontario Association of Optometrists

While such an event is a sight to behold, it's crucial to remember the importance of safety precautions to protect your eyes and fully embrace the experience.

Safely Viewing the Eclipse

While witnessing a solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience, it's crucial to protect your eyes from the Sun's intense rays. Looking directly at the Sun, even during an eclipse, can cause serious and permanent eye damage. Here are some safe ways to observe the eclipse:

  • Solar Eclipse Glasses 

Use certified solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. These glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from the Sun's harmful rays.

  • Pinhole Projector

Create a simple pinhole projector using two sheets of cardboard or paper. Make a small hole in one sheet and hold it between the Sun and a second sheet, allowing the Sun's image to project onto the second sheet. Do not look through the pinhole directly at the Sun.

  • Telescopes and Binoculars 

If you're using telescopes or binoculars to view the eclipse, make sure they are equipped with solar filters that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard. Never look at the Sun through these devices without proper filters.

If it happens that you are driving during the eclipse, please take note of the following:

  • Be aware of pedestrians, particularly those who may be distracted by the eclipse.

  • Give extra time for travel to activities.

  • Do not look at the sun or try to take photos while driving.

  • Do not stop your vehicle to view the eclipse.

And remember! If anyone experienced blindness after viewing the eclipse (immediate or delayed), seek emergency care immediately.

Did you know? 

Many public libraries and science centers often participate in distributing free solar eclipse glasses to the public before a solar eclipse. Check out the links below:

Contact them now and grab a pair! Glasses are available only until supplies last. 

It’s a rare opportunity to witness the beauty and grandeur of our solar system. So take the necessary precautions and choose a prime viewing location you can safely enjoy. Gather your friends and family, set up your viewing gear, and prepare to be amazed as the Moon and Sun perform their dance in the sky.

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