WARNING: Watch your Peepers!

WARNING: Know your Sun safety!

A Solar Eclipse will forge its trail across much of Canada this long May weekend. Parts of Canada and the western U.S. will be able to take in the show before sundown on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Before looking skyward however, experts are warning to make sure they view the eclipse only with the right equipment – You should never look at the sun directly, even if it is eclipsed as it can damage your eyes and create permanent blindness.

Here are the times in the Calgary area of the partial eclipse.
– Partial eclipse begins at 6:04pm – The Moon touches the Sun’s edge.
– Maximum Eclipse May 20 at 7:14pm – Moon is closest to the centre.
– Partial Eclipse ends May 20 at 8:17pm – The Moon leaves the Sun’s edge.

For those in parts of the southwestern United States, a glowing halo will appear as the moon moves right in front of the sun in what’s technically called an annual eclipse.

Regular sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed photographic film, and binoculars or telescopes without proper filters will not protect eyes during a solar eclipse and are unsafe to use. Special metal coated solar viewing glasses, which are being handed out by some observatories or are on sale at many science centres, are a safe way to watch the partial eclipse.

Welding filter glass (#14) can also be used to take in the event safely as the dark green glass filters out much of the visible light and all of the harmful invisible radiation. It can be obtained from most welding supply stores. Those with a telescope or binoculars can obtain solar filters to place at the front of their equipment before the light enters.

Those in British Columbia and Alberta will be able to witness more than 50 per cent of the sun covered by a wide arc of the moon’s shadow.

The last solar eclipse over part of Canada was in May 1994.

Future Eclipses in Canada:
A partial eclipse – eastern Canada on November 3, 2013 and in the northeast on August 11, 2018.
The next annular eclipse is June 10, 2021, in the northern part of Quebec and Ontario.
The next total solar eclipse is April 8, 2024, in parts of Ontario and east to Newfoundland.
The three western provinces have to wait for 2044 for a total eclipse
Manitoba has to wait till 2057 for an annular eclipse.


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