Our American neighbours are excited about next month’s solar eclipse, and for good reason: it’s the first total solar eclipse in nearly 40 years where totality will be achieved (this is when the moon completely overlaps the sun). So is a partial solar eclipse on the Sunshine Coast something to be excited about?
It’s true that we’re a little too far north to see the moon block out the sun entirely (no totality for us). However, we will be able to see a partial solar eclipse that will block out nearly 90 per cent of the sun and that promises to be a spectacular site.
When to see the eclipse on the Sunshine Coast
The solar eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017. For those of us on the Sunshine Coast, we’ll see the eclipse start at 9:10am with the maximum partial eclipse happening at 10:20am. The partial eclipse will stay at its maximum for just a few minutes so don’t be late!
The eclipse will end at 11:36am.
How to see the solar eclipse on the Sunshine Coast
The first rule of looking at a solar eclipse is don’t look at the solar eclipse. Not directly, anyway. Looking directly at the sun is a bad idea in general and solar eclipses are no exception. Sunglasses, tinted glass, etc, won’t protect your eyes.
- Build a simple homemade projector to view the eclipse. All you need are a couple of paper plates and a thumbtack or a needle. Check out a set of instructions here: How to make a pinhole projector
- Use a pair of purpose-built glasses like these ones from Amazon. Clicke here to buy eclipse-viewing paper glasses for just a few bucks a piece.
Where to see the solar eclipse on the Sunshine Coast
The time of day at which the eclipse happens means pretty much any place on the Coast should provide a pretty a good view of the occurrence.
But if you’re looking for a location that’s more exciting than your yard, here are three suggestions:
- Soames Hill. Maybe you’ve already been to the top of Soames Hill and seen the fabulous view but have you ever been to the top of Soames Hill and seen the fabulous view with 90 per cent of the sun blocked out? Didn’t think so.
- Georgia Beach. An easy-to-find park/beach that provides a good view of Vancouver Island and the Georgia Strait in between. Nothing between you and the sky other than miles of ocean.
- Roberts Creek Pier. Like Georgia Beach, it provides an unobstructed view of the sky. The pier is a great place to visit on any old plain non-eclipse day but should be something really special when the sun hides behind the moon.