BU astronomers host eclipse viewing

A woman leans forward to look in the eyepiece of a telescope
Solar eclipses should only be observed through a telescope if it is fitted with a solar filter.

Dr. Austin Gulliver and Dr. Tyler Foster of BU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will host a viewing of Monday’s solar eclipse.

They will set up two solar-filtered telescopes, from about 12:50 p.m., to about 3 p.m., outside the south entrance of the John R. Brodie Science Centre, along Louise Ave. They will also have welder’s glasses and eclipse viewing shades available for $1 each on a first-come, first-served basis. They also donated 40 glasses to Riverheights School in Brandon.

While Monday’s event will be a total eclipse in eastern Canada, the moon will partially block the sun in western Manitoba, with the peak occurring at about 2 p.m.

“You’ll see a big bite taken out of the sun, maybe 50 to 60 per cent of the sun will be missing,” Dr. Foster recently told the Brandon Sun. “At its peak depths, you won’t notice it by eye, there’ll be 50 to 60 per cent less light around you.”

Staring at the sun can cause severe damage to unprotected eyes. People should not watch Monday’s eclipse unless they have suitable eye protection such as shade 14 welding glasses or special solar-viewing glasses that meet the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 standard. Cameras, binoculars and telescopes should also not be used without specialized solar filters. Even with proper eye protection, viewing time should be limited.

Eclipse projectors are easy to make at home and are another safe way to watch the solar eclipse.


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