Solar Eclipse Party

Monday, August 21

Solar Eclipse PartySafely observe the Moon passing between the Earth and the Sun, blocking 70% of its light over Toronto. The rare event will be viewed through specially filtered glasses (limited quantity available) and telescopes* with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada at the Ontario Science Centre.

Presented in collaboration with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: Toronto Centre.
             
August 21, 
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
TELUSCAPE, outside the Main Entrance
Free admission for outdoor activities
Parking is $10 per vehicle (Member discounts apply)

Eclipse begins: 1:10 p.m. | Eclipse maximum: 2:32 p.m. | Eclipse ends: 3:49 p.m.

*Solar observing is weather permitting.

Solar eclipse glasses are not available for sale at the Ontario Science Centre, but will be given out for free on a first come, first served basis starting at 1 p.m. on August 21, the day of the eclipse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or part of the Sun from view at a particular location on the Earth. This occurs because the Sun and the Moon are the same apparent size in the sky. Day becomes night for those in the umbral shadow of the Moon during a total solar eclipse. 

How can I see it?

You must never stare directly at the Sun without the appropriate protective lenses, as it could cause permanent eye damage. Only use solar filtered glasses and viewers with the ISO 12312-2 and CE certification. Sunglasses are not safe for observing the Sun. Specially filtered telescopes operated by Royal Astronomical Society of Canada volunteers will also be available for safe viewing at the Ontario Science Centre.

Solar eclipse glasses are not available for sale at the Ontario Science Centre, but will be given out for free on a first come, first served basis starting at 1 p.m. on August 21, the day of the eclipse. If you would like to purchase your own eclipse glasses, a list of reputable vendors can be found on the American Astronomical Society’s website at the following link: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

I don't have eclipse glasses. What else can I do to safely observe the eclipse?

Do not attempt to make homemade filters for direct viewing. Instead, make a pinhole projector to observe the eclipse safely and indirectly. Instructions on making your own pinhole projector can be found at the following link:
https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/how-make-pinhole-projector-view-solar-eclipse

When can I see it?

The Moon will begin its passage across the face of the Sun starting at 1:10 p.m. EDT. It will reach maximum coverage (over 70% as seen from Toronto, Canada) at 2:32 p.m. EDT. The entire eclipse will last for 2 hours and 39 minutes.   

Where can I see it?

The solar eclipse will be visible all across Canada and the continental United States. The degree of coverage depends on where you are located. The narrow path of totality runs from the northwest coast to the southeast coast of the United States, causing 100% coverage to observers in these locations. 

Why is this eclipse so special?

Total solar eclipses are incredibly rare events to witness. Although a minimum of two solar eclipses occur every year, most of these occur over the oceans or the Arctic, out of view from observers. The last solar eclipse visible in Toronto that reached this degree of coverage or greater was the annular solar eclipse in 1994.      

Is it dangerous to look at a solar eclipse with the naked eye?

It is never safe to stare directly at the Sun without appropriate eye protection. We will not witness totality from Toronto on August 21, so solar eclipse viewers will ALWAYS be necessary during viewing. Interestingly, the only safe time to observe the Sun with the naked eye is during the few minutes of totality for those observers in the narrow 4,000 km path crossing the United States.

Why don't solar eclipses happen every month?

Eclipses can only occur when the Earth, Moon, and Sun are aligned. The Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by approximately 5 degrees from the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Therefore, solar eclipses can only occur when the new moon phase occurs at the intersection of these two orbital planes.

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  • Guide Maps

    Download a copy of our What's On Flyer & Guide Map for visitors. Printed copies of this map are also available in English and French when you arrive at the Science Centre.