On August 21st, 2017, people across Canada will be able to see the sun disappear behind the moon, turing daylight into twilight, and revealing massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon. On this day, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see a partial eclipse (as long as the weather permits).
What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse occurs when the disk of the moon appears to completely cover the disk of the sun in the sky. The fact the total solar eclipses happen at all is a quirk of cosmic geometry. The moon orbits an average of 385 kilometres from Earth – just the right distance to seem the same size in the sky as the much larger sun. Two to five solar eclipses occur each year on average, but they line up only about once every 18 months for a total solar eclipse.
When will the total solar eclipse occur and how long will it last?
For all of our students and friends in Toronto, be sure to head outside on Monday, August 21st, 2017 between 1:10 PM – 3:40 PM. At most cities, you’ll see the moon cover the disk of the sun for 2 minutes and 40 seconds with the maximum coverage at around 2:32 PM. We will only get to see a partial eclipse and the further east you travel, the more coverage of the sun you will see!
What will you see during a total solar eclipse?
Simply put, the moon travels between the earth & the sun, causing the sun’s rays to be blocked. The moon blocks out the last sliver of light from the sun, making the sun’s corona ( an aura of plasma that surrounds the sun and other stars) becomes visible. The corona is far from an indistinct haze; skywatchers report seeing great jets and ribbons of light, twisting and curling out into the sky.
Do I need any equipment to view the eclipse?
Anyone planning to view the total solar eclipse should get a pair of solar viewing glasses. These protective shades make it possible for observers to look directly at the sun before and after the eclipse. As for your camera, be sure to get a UV and/or solar filter for your camera!
As a reminder, be sure to shoot with a low ISO and fast shutter to ensure your photo will not be over-exposed.