Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo to experience partial solar eclipse

Partial eclipse over Andrew Lake, Alberta. June 10, 2021. Photo by Jon Tupper
Partial eclipse over Andrew Lake, Alberta. June 10, 2021. Photo by Jon Tupper

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo will be in the path of a partial solar eclipse this weekend.

The annular solar eclipse will occur on Saturday, October 14th, starting at 9:23 a.m. and reaching its maximum at 10:31 a.m., with just over 43 per cent of the sun’s disk covered by the moon.

Richard Covey, an amateur astronomer and published solar photographer from Edmonton, notes that even with over 40 per cent of sunlight blocked by the moon, there won’t be a significant change in brightness. However, he believes the event quite exciting.

“Even a partial solar eclipse is an amazing sight,” says Covey.

“The moon is passing between the sun and the earth, and Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo will be partly in the shadow.”

Covey says to safely observe the partial eclipse, a minimum #14 welding shield, or a solar shield approved by the American Astronomical Association is required. He says these tools will enable observers to watch the event safely.

“From our perspective here, it looks like the moon is photo-bombing the sun,” adds Covey.

“The sun’s disk will resemble a cookie with a bite taken out of it.”

Covey stresses, “It is imperative to only observe an eclipse with proper protection, as the intense brightness of the sun can cause permanent eye damage.”

By 11:43 a.m., the moon will complete its transit of the sun, and observers will have to wait until April 8, 2024, to witness another partial eclipse in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

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