Solar eclipse viewing parties being held around Vancouver on August 21

Aug 15 2017, 11:42 pm

The last time Vancouver experienced a solar eclipse was on October 23, 2014, and at its peak the phenomenon was a partial coverage of 66%.

But you’ve seen nothing yet.

The shining sun will literally be blotted out from the sky on Monday, August 21—though only for a few minutes—when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun.

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This total solar eclipse won’t necessarily be as “total” in Vancouver as it will be in Lincoln Beach, Oregon (and other areas along the eclipse’s eastward route), but we will still get 86% totality at 10:21 am.

A map showing the path of the total solar eclipse as it passes across the US. (

A map showing the path of the total solar eclipse as it passes across the US. (

Of course, that’s only if there isn’t a cloud or smoky haze already obscuring our skies. Fingers crossed that’s not the case.

Don’t think you can skip the sunscreen for that morning beach hit, either; the 86% totality will only last for two minutes and 40 seconds. Before and after that, it’s only a partial eclipse of varying coverage.

The partial eclipse will become visible for Vancouver at 9:09 am, reach its maximum totality at 10:21 am, and be gone at 11:37 am.

The number one rule for staring directly at the sun is: please don’t. Even with the moon playing bodyguard for a few minutes, it is still a huge ball of fiery space lava, and our human eyes are so very minuscule and weak in comparison.

There are special glasses that can be worn for watching these events, and places around Vancouver that are offering them to anyone who want’s to get a glimpse of the once in a lifetime event—without it being the last thing they ever see.

Here are some places in and around Vancouver that will be hosting special viewing events for the celestial phenomenon:

Science World

Where: 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver

When: 9 am to 5 pm

Science World is pairing up with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to provide attendees with a free solar telescopes program (weather permitting), live coverage of the eclipse as it makes it’s way across the United States, and a viewing party at False Creek.

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Where: 1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver

When: 8:45 am to noon

During the eclipse, the space centre will be open for presentations and shows for those who want to enjoy the phenomenon on the grass outside the Gordon Southam Observatory. Admission and solar glasses are by donation, and if you’re just hoping to grab a pair of glasses, they will be available on a first come first served basis on August 21.

UBC’s Physics and Astronomy Department

Where: Plaza area between the AMS Nest (6133 University Blvd) and the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre (6163 University Blvd)

When: 9:30 am to 11:30

UBC is putting together an event for the eclipse, with live streaming of the total eclipse and presentations on how eclipses occur. Admission is free and the Facebook event already has close to 200 confirmed attending.

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