A rare total eclipse can be viewed in Brockville April 8. Here’s what you need to know

The 2017 solar eclipse as seen from Cerulean, Kentucky, USA. Photo by Jongsun Lee.

A major celestial event is happening on April 8, and Brockville is the place to be to view it. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming rare total solar eclipse.

What time will the eclipse take place?

The eclipse will begin at 2:10 p.m., and last for two hours and 24 minutes. Maximum totality will will last for two minutes and 47 seconds, beginning at 3:24 p.m. and ending at 4:35 p.m.

Why will you want to be in Brockville to experience the eclipse?

Brockville is in the path of totality and will experience a total solar eclipse. The path of totality will cross only a thin portion of Ontario (as shown on the map below), and only a small section of Canada. Cities outside of this path will only experience a partial eclipse.

A total eclipse is a rare event, and only those areas that are in the path of totality will have the full experience. The last time that a total solar eclipse was observed in Canada was 1979, in parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, northwestern Ontario, and northern Quebec.

The Highway 401 corridor between Montreal and Port Hope, including Brockville, is along the path of totality, and travellers along this stretch are expected to pull off of the highway during the eclipse in order to observe this phenomenon. Neighbouring communities to the north of Brockville are not in the path of totality, and will only experience a partial eclipse, which means that the city could see an influx of people from these communities who want to have the full experience. Nearby towns and cities that are not along the path of totality include Ottawa, Kemptville, Perth, Smiths Falls and Merrickville.

Where to view the eclipse in Brockville

Blockhouse Island Parkway will be the official eclipse viewing area in Brockville. The site will be closed that day to vehicle traffic to make room for pedestrians to move about safely. People are advised to bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets, and dress appropriately in layers as April at the waterfront can be quite cool.

Free solar filter glasses will be available at the Aquatarium in advance of April 8 (a launch date will be announced soon). The glasses are sponsored by the Aquatarium, the Royal Canadian Air Force and Brockville Tourism.

Cameras should use a specific solar filter (including phone cameras too) in order to protect their equipment. If you plan to take photos during the eclipse, spend some time doing a bit of research ahead of time on camera settings and filters

What happens if it’s cloudy?

April does have a tendency to be cloudy and possibly rainy, which would affect the viewing experience greatly. Even if the sun and moon are blocked by clouds during the eclipse, however, we would still experience the twilight conditions when the moon passes in front of the sun, casting our region into shadow.

Downtown Brockville events

Inspired by the total solar eclipse, downtown Downtown Brockville set to transform into a “cosmic wonderland, celebrating the mysteries and beauties of the universe” this April with Downtown Brockville’s ‘Solar Celebration.’

Certain businesses in the area will be participating in a series of celestial-themed events and promotions designed to attract visitors, engage the community, and highlight local businesses. Here’s everything you need to know to be a part of this stellar month.

1. Five lucky participants will receive a ‘cosmic loot bag.

Each cosmic lootbag is packed with exclusive, limited edition Downtown Brockville merchandise, including a Downtown Brockville gift card and more. Five of these loot bags will be given away.

2. Astrophotography contest

Solar Celebration Key Info

Downtown Brockville is calling on amateur and professional photographers alike to submit their best astrophotography shots. Entries could include celestial bodies, nightscapes, or creatively themed photos. Selected photographs will be featured on Downtown Brockville’s Facebook and Instagram pages throughout April. The best of the universe, as captured by you, will win one of the cosmic loot bags.

3. Solar scavenger hunt

Downtown Brockville will be hiding symbols of the solar system across the downtown area. Eight businesses will each host a promotional artwork representing one of the eight planets in our solar system. Participants must match each planet to its hosting business correctly and submit their discoveries. Successful cosmic explorers will be entered into a draw to win a Cosmic Lootbag, adding an element of adventure to their shopping experience.

More information on the solar eclipse in Brockville can be found here.

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