Nova Scotia·Weather

How and when to view Thursday's partial solar eclipse in the Maritimes

The partial annular solar eclipse will begin at sunrise on Thursday morning in the Maritimes.

Early risers will be treated to a 60 to 70% partial annular solar eclipse on Thursday morning

Most of the Maritimes will see a 60 to 70 per cent partial solar eclipse early on Thursday morning. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

A rare partial solar eclipse will be viewable across much of the Maritimes as the sun rises on Thursday morning.

Beginning at sunrise around 5:30 and continuing until around 7:30, the sun will be 60 to 70 per cent partially eclipsed by the moon during the maximum, which will occur around 6:30. Exact times will be dependent on your location and can be found here.

This event is known as an annular solar eclipse and not a total eclipse. The difference is because the moon is near its farthest orbital point from the earth right now and as result, its shadow won't be large enough to completely eclipse the sun.

Folks in the path of annularity across parts of northern Ontario, Quebec and eastern Nunavut will instead be treated to what is sometimes referred to as the ring of fire.

Thankfully, those of us in the Maritimes won't have to wait too much longer for a chance to catch a full solar eclipse. The next major solar eclipse in North America will happen in April 2024 and the Maritimes will be right in the path of totality.

Thursday's event is known as an annular solar eclipse, not a total eclipse. (Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto)

The weather will obviously be key for viewing the partial eclipse, especially given how early our viewing time will be and how low the sun will be on the horizon here in the Maritimes.

As of now, most of the region is looking at good viewing conditions, with mostly clear to partly cloudy skies.

This image explains the different types of eclipses. (Canadian Space Agency)

I'm watching for increasing clouds across Cape Breton, the Northumberland Shore and P.E.I., where there's also the potential for some showers to move in through the Thursday morning time period.

There's also the potential for some patchy fog early in the morning, especially for eastern areas of the Maritimes.

How to safely view the eclipse

As with any solar eclipse, it's very important not to look directly at the sun and doing so could permanently damage your eyes. Regular sunglasses are also not enough to protect your eyes.

U.S. President Donald Trump made headlines in 2017 when he displayed what not to do when viewing a solar eclipse. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

If you don't have approved solar viewing or eclipse glasses, then the standard and most common way to view an eclipse is with a pinhole camera.

These cameras are quick and easy to make at home.

Want to safely take in the partial solar eclipse? Here's how

2 years ago
Duration 2:01
CBC P.E.I. meteorologist Jay Scotland shows you how to build a pinhole viewer to see a solar eclipse.

Safe viewing everyone!



Ryan Snoddon


Ryan Snoddon is CBC's meteorologist in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


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