Solar Eclipse: When and How to Watch It Safely – Le Journal de Montréal

Quebecers can view a partial solar eclipse on Saturday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Even if the feeling of glare disappears during a solar eclipse, it is strongly discouraged to observe it with the naked eye as it only takes a few seconds to burn the retina.

To observe a solar eclipse in complete safety, the Montreal Planetarium strongly advises against wearing classic sunglasses. Conventional sunglasses protect our eyes from ultraviolet rays, but not from infrared radiation, which can permanently damage the retina.

Special glasses with a filter are required for observing solar eclipses. The same applies to photography, which is not recommended without filters specifically designed for this purpose, as the eclipse could damage the optical cell.

For those who don’t have special equipment on hand, a few methods are available. The Montreal Planetarium offers instructions on its website for building an observing telescope using a shoebox and offers safe observing methods using a sieve.

This type of solar eclipse, called an annular or partial eclipse, occurs when the moon comes partially between the Earth and the sun. The result is an incomplete coverage of the sun by the moon. The phenomenon will be progressive and will peak in Quebec between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

In general, coverage will be greater in the south and west of the province and gradually decrease in the north and east. From the highest value of 22% in Témiscamingue to the lowest value of 4% in Natashquan.

This partial solar eclipse is expected to provide a foretaste of the total solar eclipse that will be visible from Montreal and Sherbrooke on April 8, 2024, an event that will not occur again in Quebec for several centuries.

To find out the exact solar eclipse times in your area: