Christine Whelan FEO, February 1, 2024, VOL. 5 ISSUE 11
On April 8, 2024, Fort Erie will experience a Total Solar Eclipse.
This will be a once-in-a-lifetime event for Fort Erie. With the eclipse crossing directly over Fort Erie, residents won’t even have to leave their homes to have a front row seat.
A team with the Town of Fort Erie has been meeting to prepare for the effect the eclipse will have on the town. As a result, a web page has been designed to help the community prepare and will be updated as steps continue to develop towards the first week of April.
Designated viewing areas will be available for the day of the eclipse. However, the Town’s web page states, they might be very busy, and viewing the eclipse from home is the most reliable and safe way for Fort Erie residents to view this experience.
What is a solar eclipse / total solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. A total solar eclipse is the same process, but the moon completely blocks the sun.
It is unsafe to look at the eclipse without specialized eye protection. If you view the eclipse with the naked eye, it can cause damage to your retina and eyesight. Eclipse glasses or specialized solar viewers are the safest way to view the eclipse.
The total eclipse cycle will start around 2:04 PM and end around 4:32 PM. The eclipse only lasts a few minutes and starts at 3:20 PM.
The eclipse will move northeast across North America, passing directly over Fort Erie. During the eclipse the moon will cover the sun, causing the sky to darken. Being in the direct path, Fort Erie will experience a dark sky, and the sun’s corona will be visible for approximately 3-5 minutes.
Sadly, if there are overcast skies on the day of the eclipse, some viewing may be blocked. Other effects of the eclipse would still be visible including dark skies and a drop in temperature
There could be increased traffic on the day of the eclipse with a large amount of visitors coming to Fort Erie.
Designated viewing areas will make the experience safe and enjoyable.
- Bay Beach
- Ferndale Park
- Optimist Park
- Crystal Ridge Park (at the arena/library)
- Waverly Beach
- Stevensville Hall/Library/Park
- Leisureplex (main parking lot only)
Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing
The website provides points in solar viewing safety:
- Always inspect your solar filter before use; discard it if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
- Always supervise children using solar filters.
- If you usually wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
- Do not look at the uneclipsed, partially eclipsed, or annularly eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
- Similarly, do not look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer in front of your eyes — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing severe injury.
- Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics
Kevin Beauchamp, Manager, Communications, Town of Fort Erie says, “We have procured lots of viewing glasses and are working on a plan to distribute them through Town Hall, libraries and other community locations which will all be posted on our site.”
Other topics on the website so far include road closures during the eclipse and a video of the eclipse’s path across North America.
Keep track of the preparations that continue to develop, making this a memorable and safe experience for the Greater Fort Erie area, through the new web page: www.forterie.ca/eclipse