Watching the skies

A partial solar eclipse like this one will be visible in Prince Albert on Monday, Aug. 21. Astronomers say this will be the most dramatic solar eclipse seen in Canada since 1979. -- Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

Professional and amateur astronomers will have a rare treat on Monday, as a solar eclipse makes its way across the North American continent.

Starting at roughly 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 21, viewers in Saskatchewan will be able to see the moon pass between the sun and earth for roughly two-and-a-half hours. The eclipse will be at its height at approximately 11:43 a.m.

The event will be one of the more remarkable solar eclipses seen in Canada in almost four decades.

“The last one that was of the same quality as the one happening this year was … way back in 1979. We’ve had a few since then, but they haven’t been as dramatic as the one coming up this Monday,” said Stan Shadick, an astronomer with the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Physics and Engineering.

Viewers in Saskatchewan won’t see a total solar eclipse. For that, Shadick recommends residents pack their bags and head to a central U.S. state like Wyoming. However, the view in this province will still be impressive.

“This one is going to cover 75 per cent of the sun’s disc from Saskatoon, and a slightly, slightly smaller percentage from Prince Albert,” Shadick said. “That, I believe, is more than we’ve had in previous partial solar eclipses that have been visible.”

For the rest of this story, please see the Aug. 16 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.