A much-anticipated solar eclipse will sweep through North America and will also grace the skies over London on Monday, August 21 — and the best gathering place to watch it safely will be at Western University.
The hill in front of University College on campus will be host to a rare opportunity that will allow Londoners to view the eclipse through free , safe eclipse glasses.
“It’s absolutely crucial that no one look at an eclipse without purpose-made filters,” said Jan Cami, director of the Cronyn Observatory and a Professor of Astronomy at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “Watching directly through a smartphone, binoculars, improvised filters or even through sunglasses could do irreparable harm to your eyes in a matter of seconds.”
Instead, people are welcome to visit University College Hill for a collective, safe viewing experience. The event — during which the moon will cover about 75 per cent of the Sun — will not be as spectacular as a total eclipse but is still an experience that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. In addition to eclipse glasses, visitors will be able to look through telescopes equipped with professional filters and will learn and see safe ways to project the Sun’s image. They can also watch a live-stream from the path of totality in the US.
The eclipse-viewing is also the zenith of Canada 150 events at the Cronyn Observatory, and visitors can take in an exhibit that highlights eclipses and astronomy throughout Canada’s history, as well as historic displays staged to replicate a telescope control room as it looked on Canada Day, 1967.
“For professional and amateur astronomers alike, an eclipse is a source of enduring fascination. They’re amazing events to share with family and friends as we watch the moon take a ‘big bite’ out of the Sun,” Cami said.
WHAT: The moon will move between Earth and the Sun for an eclipse that will cover 75% of the Sun
WHEN: August 21, starting at 1:06pm, the moon will start moving in front of the Sun, with maximum eclipse at 2:30 p.m. The eclipse ends at 3:48 p.m.
WHERE: University College Hill and Cronyn Observatory, Western University
FOR MORE Maps and other details can be found here.
OF NOTE: We urge all media to emphasize in their eclipse coverage that viewing an eclipse without purpose-made filters can cause irreparable eye damage.
Prof. Jan Cami is available for media interviews until (and including) Friday. Prof. Pauline Barmby, Acting Dean of Science, will be available for media interviews at UC Hill during the eclipse.
SOLAR ECLIPSE CONTACT: Prof. Jan Cami, director, Cronyn Observatory, email@example.com or 519 661-2111 x80978 (until Friday)
MEDIA CONTACT: Debora Van Brenk, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85165, or on mobile at 519-318-0657 and firstname.lastname@example.org
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