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Viewing eclipse with pros

August 11, 2017 2:15 AM
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Viewing eclipse with pros

Those in Kelowna looking for a dose of education during the upcoming solar eclipse are in luck.

On the morning of Aug. 21, the moon will block out the majority of the sun, making for a unique viewing opportunity.

The Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is hosting a viewing party at the Kelowna Curling Club from 9 a.m. to noon. The sun will be most covered, about 83 per cent, when viewed from Kelowna at 10:24 a.m.

“We'll have several telescopes looking safely at the sun, we've got some eclipse glasses and viewers, also safe,” said Terry Bridges, a physics and astronomy instructor at Okanagan College and member of the Society.

The sun will be completely eclipsed by the moon when viewed from some locations in the United States, and Bridges says they will be live streaming the total eclipse at their viewing party.

A total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on earth about once every year.

Bridges cautions amateur astronomers from looking directly at the eclipse.

“It's definitely not safe just to look at it with binoculars or a telescope,” Bridges said. “There's a couple safe ways to look at it.”

Astronomers at the Kelowna event will be using telescopes with special filters that allow safe viewing of the sun.

“It blocks out almost all of the light, especially the ultraviolets and the high-energy wavelengths that are damaging to the eye,” he said.

The viewing event will take place rain or shine, and even if there's still smoke in the air.


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