Solar eclipse in two years; aurora light show over Kamloops, Okanagan in two days | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Solar eclipse in two years; aurora light show over Kamloops, Okanagan in two days

A photo of an eclipse from 2017.

The sun and moon will align for a solar eclipse through Canada’s most heavily-populated areas on April 8, 2024, and anyone in Kamloops or the Okanagan might be able to catch a partial glimpse – but those serious about experiencing the phenomenon will have better luck outside of the country.

The Maritimes, Quebec and the Greater Toronto area will all be in or near the path of totality before the eclipse makes its way through eastern United States and Mexico.

“If it happened this year on April 8 it would have been clouded out in Ontario,” said Dr. Chris Gainor, past president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

British Columbians may have the opportunity to witness a partial eclipse, but just like Ontario, clear skies cannot be counted on during the month of April.

“You’ll only see a partial one from here, but anyone interested can get their eclipse glasses and lenses, with filters of course,” Dr. Gainor said.

READ MORE: Beautiful northern lights visible in Thompson Okanagan

From the perspective of anyone in B.C., the partial eclipse will cause nearly half of the sun to be blocked out.

“But somebody just going about their business that day probably wouldn’t notice it,” he said.

The path an eclipse will take through Canada on April 8, 2024.
The path an eclipse will take through Canada on April 8, 2024.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/

However, it would be difficult not to notice a total eclipse.

“All of a sudden it goes dark, animals start acting like it’s time to go to bed – you get all these effects. Long ago eclipses terrified people, it’s quite a magnificent spectacle of nature," Dr. Gainor said.

For those who want to experience the eclipse in totality, he said Texas and Mexico seem to be popular destinations for the 2024 event, as those locations tend to have clear weather that time of year. However, many of his eclipse-chasing friends will be experiencing it from the northern states.

READ MORE: Supermoon eclipse captured by South Okanagan photographer

But stargazers won’t have to wait two years to experience a cosmological phenomenon if this week’s forecasts proves to be accurate.

“Unsettled to major storm levels” are predicted for the evening of April 14 on, with solar activity expected to reach nine on a scale of 10.

“Active aurora possible with slight chance of isolated minor auroral substorms and favourable conditions for major aurora activity,” reads the April 14 forecast.

The Earth goes through 11 year cycles in which the intensity of the aurora fluctuates from high to low. Dr. Gainor said the planet is now coming out of the “quiet part” of the cycle.

“This time it was really quiet,” he said.

Environment Canada is predicting partly cloudy conditions on April 14 in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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