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The solar eclipse phenomenon of 2024

The April 8 eclipse will occur over a large swath of North America and during the brief period when the moon covers the sun, transforming day to night with a show of streamers and magnetic loops dancing around the sun.

Watch on Monday ahead of the 2 p.m. EDT eclipse stream on multiple live channels, dedicated to giving you many vantage points to watch the solar eclipse safely.

Here’s everything you need to know to experience the rare celestial event.

What is a total solar eclipse?

In a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, entirely covering the face of the sun along a small path of our planet’s surface. This is called the “path of totality” and the daytime sky turns dark, akin to dusk or dawn.

In places along the path of totality, people will be able to view the sun’s corona, the star’s outer atmosphere, which typically is not visible because of solar brightness.

What happens during a total solar eclipse?  

The moon will be in a direct line between the sun and the Earth, creating a dark, quickly moving shadow on the face of our planet. That particular type of shadow is called an umbra.

For those watching from within the moon’s so-called path of totality, the sun’s rays will be completely blocked, plunging the surrounding landscape into darkness for a short time.

Observers outside that path will see a partial eclipse, as the moon will block part of the sun, creating a lighter shadow known as a penumbra.

Be sure to watch for about an hour before and after totality see the moon fully transit in front of the sun. It is only safe to remove eye protection in the brief period the sun is blocked. 

Where will the eclipse be visible in Canada?

All of the provinces in eastern Canada will experience a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Depending on your location in Canada, the total eclipse will be visible for anywhere from just a few seconds to approximately three-and-a-half minutes near the center of the path of totality. Those in cities just outside its path like London, Toronto, Ottawa, Laval, Quebec, Moncton, Charlottetown, and St. John’s still have reason to look up.