Solar Eclipse. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / solarseven) Solar Eclipse. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / solarseven)

Partial Solar Eclipse set for Ontario skies soon

An awe-inspiring astronomy event is headed to North American skies next month.

On Saturday, October 14, stargazers and sky watchers will be able to catch a partial solar eclipse, with a percentage of the sun covered by the moon.

"Although this seems like an incredible event to view and photograph, it comes with great risk and danger, said Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle. "Unlike a lunar eclipse where the moon slides into the earth’s shadow, turning a burnt orange or coral colour and is completely safe to view, the sun is a far different story."

Boyle recommends taking protective measures to prevent any damage to your eyes or camera.

Solar eclipses come in basically three flavours - total, annular, and partial.

The first two are dictated by how far the moon is away from Earth at eclipse time.

"In its monthly orbit around our planet, the moon’s elliptical orbit causes an approximate 50,000-kilometre or 30,000-mile variance between the closest and farthest approach called perigee and apogee," said Boyle.

The so-called “supermoon” is the combination of a full moon and the closest distance to us which we experienced at the end of August with the “Blue Moon” or the second full moon in the same month.

According to Boyle, on October 14, the moon will be further from Earth and not block the entire sun.

He said a classic total eclipse is when the entire sun is completely covered for a few seconds up to a maximum of seven and a half minutes.

"Much like a hockey goaltender challenging a shooter as he skates out and retreats in the net," said Boyle.

Residents are reminded to not directly look at the sun, as it will not be safely covered by the moon.

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