5 Things to Know Prior to Watching the Solar Eclipse

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The beauty of solar eclipse lies in its rarity—knowing that this phenomenon inspired the remark “not until the celestial bodies align”. But much like strangers on the subway, it’s never a good idea to stare. Jokes aside, here’s a couple of things to keep in mind for the rare event nature offers:

Absolutely no direct eye contact. Not even a squint. This might already go without saying, but you’d be surprised to know how some people try some ingenious—albeit dangerous—ways to watch. Squinting, looking through the gaps between your fingers, aren’t safe. Not even normal sunglasses will do the trick. Couple things you can do: use some certified protective glasses. Don’t have one? Read on.

The city has spots that hosts solar eclipse viewing. That means having the means to safely view the eclipse with equipment provided! Check this link for a list of locations scattered in the city. (https://www.todocanada.ca/city/toronto/event/solar-eclipse-viewing-toronto/) Some locations, like York University even offer certain perks like, “Free ice cream for first 200 attendees!” Now that’s one thing you can stare at!

It’s not recommended to view it with your phone. While ER doctors are bracing themselves for eclipse-related injuries, Apple’s Genius Bar might also see a surge of people with broken cameras. Cameras have sensors, and sensors don’t work well with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. One workaround is to cover it with a filter similar to those on certified protective glasses. But ask yourself, “Do you really want to take a photo of a blob of light or just enjoy the moment?”

No Special Protective Glasses? Improvise! But that doesn’t mean being careless! There are a couple of things you could do with tutorial videos online. View it through reflection (e.g. water on a basin), or through projection by creating your DIY pinhole projector. Here’s a sample guide on how to create your own viewing apparatus(http://www.mirror.co.uk/science/solar-eclipse-2017-how-view-7488739)

The eclipse happens roughly from 1pm-4pm. Or if you’re into specifics and know your science, partial eclipse starts at 1:10pm and the maximum eclipse occurs at 2:32pm. If you can’t make it or happen to miss this rare phenomenon, don’t worry, a better one would come on 2024—that’s 7 years from now!

You’re set! While solar eclipses are a rare occurrence, your safety is important. Be sure you’re on a safe place when viewing; the middle of the road does not count. Enjoy!