The solar eclipse: what will Canadians see?

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between earth and the sun, and casts a shadow that blocks the sun’s earth for a time. Because the moon and earths orbits don’t match perfectly, it’s rare for the moon to completely eclipse the sun. When it does happen, the darkest part of the shadow—the umbra—is what causes a total eclipse. It casts what is known as the “path of totality.” It’s about 100 km wide, so people along this path will get to witness the rare sight: a total eclipse of the sun.

What will Canadians see of the eclipse?

Canadians will still need their “eclipse glasses” when the solar eclipse occurs on August 21.

As the eclipse makes its way from coast to coast across the United States, there is no part of Canada where the sun will be completely eclipsed. Those living in Victoria will have the best experience, though, with 91 per cent of the sun blocked by the moon, followed by people in Vancouver (88 per cent) and Calgary (81 per cent).

Those on the east coast and in Northern Canada won’t see as much of the rare event, but will still get a glimpse. For people in St. John’s, the eclipse will cover only 43 per cent of the sun, while for Halifax and Whitehorse it will be 58 per cent.

views of the solar eclipse from canada

The black line over the U.S. is the path of the solar eclipse. Find out how much of it you’ll be able to see from your city and what time it will appear.



MORE: Solar eclipse 2017: Live video from NASA