UPEI expert shares her tips on how to enjoy the solar eclipse safely
'If you're going to observe the eclipse directly you need something like special viewing glasses'
There are proper and improper ways to enjoy a solar eclipse, UPEI lecturer Megan Glover told CBC P.E.I.'s Compass.
With the upcoming eclipse on Monday, she said people need to put eye safety first.
On any given day, the sun is dangerous to look at, Glover said.
"If you're going to observe the eclipse directly you need something like special viewing glasses."
Those glasses will be available in abundance at UPEI's eclipse viewing event which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. — about ten minutes before the eclipse is expected to start.
P.E.I. won't experience full eclipse
With safety concerns addressed, Glover said, skygazers will be able to watch the spectacle.
"A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth form a direct line, so the moon can block out the sun's light," she said.
"The moon is forming a shadow that is projected onto the Earth's surface and that shadow is only a few hundred kilometres across."
P.E.I. is on the edge of that shadow, so it will not experience a full solar eclipse. Rather, the sun will be eclipsed about 45 per cent, Glover said.
"There's a range of the shadow outside of the darkest part called the penumbra, where some light gets through and some doesn't," she said. "We'll be in that part of the moon's shadow."
When to watch
The eclipse will begin on Monday at around 2:40 p.m. — 3:50 p.m. will be the peak of it and will be the best time to view the eclipse.
It will be finished by 4:55 p.m.
"The other challenge in P.E.I. is our weather," she said. "It was really only about one in ten times we've had a nice clear day to observe one of these."
Glover said for those looking to watch the eclipse at home, they can acquire viewing glasses if they can find a vendor that still has them as many in Charlottetown are already sold out.
She recommends that anyone who buys them consult the American Astroniomical Society's list of reputable vendors of solar filters to make sure they are safe enough to use.
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With files from CBC News: Compass