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Solar sideshow is today

Solar Eclipse.
Solar Eclipse.

TRURO, N.S. - Nova Scotians will be able to experience the first solar eclipse to stretch across North America in almost a century on Monday, Aug. 21.

While Canada may not be directly in the path of Monday’s solar eclipse, spectators should still get an interesting show, with 50 to 60 per cent of the sun being covered.

In the afternoon, a large chunk of the sun will go dark for Nova Scotia as the moon crosses over the sun from 2:40 p.m. to roughly 5 p.m.

This is much longer than the two minutes people living between Oregon and South Carolina will get, where the eclipse’s path of totality runs, although they will experience a total blackout of the sun for that time.

Called the All-American Solar Eclipse, it is the first eclipse to stretch from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States in 99 years.

To avoid damage to spectators’ eyes, doctors and astrophysicists are recommending the use of special eclipse glasses, which have a special UV filter and are relatively cheap to buy.

Normal sunglasses won’t cut it, and serious damage can be done to your retina by looking directly at the sun. UV filters should also be used on cameras for those planning to photograph or film the event.

Long-range forecasts are showing mixed results, with some showing rain and clouds on Monday, while others show clear skies and a high of 27, so keep an eye on the weather closer to Monday before heading out.

Nova Scotia has had three total solar eclipses occur near it in the last century, including one over Halifax in 1970, another visible from the eastern shore and the last in 1999, which started just off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

The next total eclipse visible from Nova Scotia is set to travel over Southern New Brunswick in 2024.

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