An annular eclipse of the sun that takes place Sunday could be obscured by cloud forecast for the region.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s diameter appears smaller than the sun’s, causing the sun to look like an annulus or ring.
In this case, the partial eclipse will appear like a bite out of a cookie, said Colin Taylor, an astronomy instructor at TRU.
“This annular eclipse, because the moon is a long ways from the Earth, won’t totally cover the disc,” Taylor said.
The eclipse will begin around 4:30 p.m. Observers in much of B.C. and Alberta may be able to witness more than half of the sun covered by a wide arc of the moon’s shadow.
Before looking skyward however, experts are warning Canadians to make sure they view the eclipse only with the right equipment. Viewing the eclipse unaided can damage eyes or cause permanent blindness.
Regular sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed photographic film, dark garbage bags and binoculars or telescopes without proper filters will not protect eyes during a solar eclipse and are unsafe to use.
Special metal-coated solar viewing glasses, which are being handed out by some observatories or are on sale at many science centres, are a safe way to watch the partial eclipse.
No. 14 welding filter glass can also be used to take in the event safely as the dark green glass filters out much of the visible light and all of the harmful invisible radiation. It can be obtained from most welding supply stores. Those with a telescope or binoculars can obtain solar filters they can place at the front of their equipment before the light enters the device.
Kamloops Astronomical Society, which often trains its telescopes on celestial events, isn’t planning anything special for Sunday. Bu some society members may be travelling to Penticton to observe the event at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, said Anne Neave, a society member.
TRU and the society are setting their sights on the transit of Venus on Tuesday, June 5. The TRU observatory will be open from 3-9 p.m. to watch Venus pass in front of the sun, an event rarer than the return of Haley’s Comet. The last such event, however, was only eight years ago. Before that, you have to go back to 1882.
“That’s a lot more rare,” Taylor said. “There’s a lot more interest in a show of that.”
The next pair of transits will take place in December 2117 and December 2125, so don’t hold your breath.
KAMLOOPS DAILY NEWS/THE CANADIAN PRESS