Here's when to start watching the solar eclipse

The countdown is on: it's less than a week to the solar eclipse and you likely want to know when to look up. Here are some times for cities across Canada.

From Vancouver to Inuvik to St. John's, find out when to look (safely) up

Checking out the Aug. 21 solar eclipse? Make sure you have proper eyewear. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

In one week, millions of heads across North America will be turned skyward to watch a much-anticipated event: the solar eclipse of Aug. 21.

Though dubbed the Great American Eclipse because totality will occur across a swath of the U.S. stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, Canada will be treated to an eclipse as well: a partial solar eclipse.

The eclipse will be visible all across the country, with coverage of the sun ranging from about 90 per cent in Victoria to about 25 per cent in Inuvik, N.W.T. 

Want to know when to start looking? Here's an interactive map for major cities across Canada that shows when the eclipse starts, at what time the maximum coverage will occur and when it ends. 

Remember that when the eclipse starts, it'll barely be noticeable. Eventually, however, it'll look like someone's taken a bite out of the sun and increase from there.

Check out this interactive to see what it'll look like from where you live.

It's important to remember to wear proper eye protection — approved solar eclipse glasses. Skywatchers can try to find them at local science stores, astronomy groups or museums, though there's a possibility they may be sold out this late in the game.

Be warned: there have been many glasses on the market that don't meet the standards. Amazon has had to send out warnings to many who purchased inadequate eclipse glasses, causing an uproar just a week ahead of the event.

"Just because 80 per cent of the sun is missing, 20 per cent of the sun is there. You only need a fraction of a percent of the sun to be visible to generate eye damage," astronomer Paul Delaney told CBC News. 

About the Author

Nicole Mortillaro

Senior Writer, Science and Technology

Nicole has an avid interest in all things science. As an amateur astronomer, Nicole can be found looking up at the night sky appreciating the marvels of our universe. She is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the author of several books.