Tips for viewing the eclipse safely from the UPEI Office of Health, Safety, and Environment

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solar eclipse graphic

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the much anticipated total solar eclipse will be visible from parts of PEI. The western part of the province will experience a total solar eclipse while central and eastern locations will experience a partial solar eclipse. The moon will start to block the sun's light in O’Leary just before 3:27 pm and in Souris only about two and a half minutes later. Totality will spread across western PEI shortly after 4:30 pm.

Looking directly at an eclipse is extremely dangerous and can result in permanent damage to one’s vision. The following are some tips on how to view this once-in-a-lifetime event safely:

Protecting your eyes

There are two methods to safely view the eclipse:

  • Wear ISO 12312-2:2015-certified solar eclipse glasses that are fitted with a pair of filters, e.g., aluminized polyester, dark polymer. Ensure that the filters are secured within the mounting and are not damaged. NOTE: Beware of counterfeit eclipse glasses, which may claim to meet the standards for safe solar filters but do not. The American Astronomical Society’s Suppliers of Safe Solar Filters & Viewers page links to the websites of reputable manufacturers and distributors on its list.
  • View the eclipse indirectly using the projection method. With this method, you will pass the sun’s light through a small hole, or binoculars, and focus that light on a white surface. Then you can safely view the projected image because the intensity of the image has been diminished by capturing only a small sliver of light during the projection process. Instructions to make a pinhole projector:
    • Use two pieces of stiff white cardboard (paper plates or cardstock will do) to make a simple pinhole projector.
    • Use a cereal/cracker/cookie box, paper, and aluminum foil to make a box pinhole projector. This box projector will provide a better image than the simple pinhole projector because the image will be in a darker viewing area.
  • Note: Sunglasses, welding glasses, binoculars, and camera lenses are NOT SAFE for viewing the eclipse.

Steps to safely wear and remove viewer 

  • While looking downward, stand towards the sun.
  • Put the viewer in front of your eyes or put the glasses onto your face.
  • Look up toward the sun.
  • When you have finished viewing the sun, look down first before removing eye protection.
  • Take the viewer away from your face or the glasses off.

Driving tips
While it is safe to drive during the eclipse, please observe the following precautions:

  • Do not allow this spectacular phenomenon to distract you while driving.
  • Vehicle windows, even if tinted, do not provide adequate protection to watch the eclipse.
  • Do not directly observe the sun, and do not use solar eclipse glasses when driving.
  • Do not stop your vehicle on the road or on the shoulder to watch the eclipse.
  • Comply with the Highway Safety Code at all times and allow emergency vehicles to circulate.
  • Traffic congestion and slowdowns are possible in areas where a total eclipse will be visible and near numerous assembly sites organized to observe the eclipse.
  • Allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • For more information, click here.

Click here for more information. Many thanks to Megan Glover, laboratory technician, Department of Physics, and Dr. Maria Kilfoil, associate professor of physics, for sharing their expertise to inform the public about the eclipse through the media and in other ways. 

Media Contact

Anna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications

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