Solar Eclipse

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Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024:

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the Moon’s orbit will position it directly between the Earth and the Sun, causing a solar eclipse.

While other areas will experience a total eclipse, in Ottawa the eclipse will not be total -- the maximum will be approximately 99 per cent occurring for 2 to 3 minutes starting at 3:25 pm. Because there is no total eclipse in Ottawa there is no safe time to look at the Sun without appropriate eye protection.

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What are the health risks?

Vision impairment/eye damage:

Looking directly at the Sun at any time without protection may cause damage to your retina (the light-receptor tissue at the back of your eye) called “Solar Retinopathy / Retinal Burns / Eclipse Blindness.” Damage can occur without any sensation of pain. The injury can be temporary or permanent.

When is the risk? Looking at the Sun at any time is dangerous. 

Who is at risk? Anyone who looks at the Sun at any time or during the eclipse (because it is not total in Ottawa) without appropriate eye protection is at risk.

Sunburn/sun damage to skin:

Watching the progress of an eclipse may mean you are in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Prevent skin damage by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing.

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How can I best protect myself?

The best way to protect yourself from harm is to not look at the sun at any point during the solar eclipse.

However, if you do wish to view the eclipse, there are ways to reduce your risks.

You can wear approved eye protection (ISO Standard 12312-2:2015 solar filters that have the manufacturer's name and address printed on the product). If you wear eyeglasses, place your eclipse glasses over them or place the eclipse viewer in front of them. 

Remember to always supervise children while using solar filters

Never look at the Sun (eclipsed or otherwise) through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device even if you are wearing approved eye protection. The concentrated solar rays will burn through your eye-protection filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Optical instruments require their own special solar filters.

If appropriate eye protection is not available, you can view the solar eclipse safely online via a livestream.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I wear welder’s glasses to view the eclipse?
Answer: Only shade 14 or darker.
Can I wear sunglasses or ski goggles to view the eclipse?
Answer: No, they will not protect you.
Can I make my own solar filters?
Answer: Homemade filters are not recommended.
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