Partial Solar Eclipse Sunday
Allan Brooks Centre offers free eclipse glasses
If the weatherman provides clear skies on the afternoon of Sunday, Okanagan residents will be able to see the fairly rare spectacle of a partial solar eclipse. Late that afternoon the Moon will advance over the Sun's disk, eventually covering about 68% of its surface.
Members of the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) remind everyone not to look directly at the Sun without proper approved eye protection since serious eye damage can occur. An alternative is to project the image of the Sun through a pinhole in aluminum foil onto a white sheet of paper.
OCRASC members have invited the public to join them to observe the eclipse from the Allan Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon where free approved solar eclipse glasses will be provided. Additional events will be held at the Okanagan Observatory on the Big White Road east of Kelowna and at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory south of Penticton.
The first sign of the eclipse will be the first 'bite' taken out of the Sun by the dark sphere of the Moon around 5pm. The missing sector will grow gradually until about 68% of the Sun is covered by around 6.15pm. This will be followed by a gradual recession of the 'intruder', restoring the Sun to its full glory around 7.21pm.
During the eclipse, a number of special solar telescopes will be set up allowing the public to observe dark sunspots on the Sun's surface as well as bright red prominences around the edge, complementing the advancing eclipse.
While the Okanagan will see a partial solar eclipse, people in a swath across the southwest United States will witness an annular eclipse in which the Sun will exhibit a thin ring around the dark globe of the Moon. Normally this would be a Total Solar Eclipse, however the Moon will be at the farthest part of its orbit and will be too small to fully cover the Sun.
Further information on the Okanagan Observatory can be found at www okanaganobservatory ca.