Get set for the 2024 solar eclipse

Please note: there will NOT be any public programs at Riverwood for the solar eclipse on April 8 and we do NOT have eclipse viewing glasses available.

Things are looking up!

Or at least they will be on April 8, 2024, when we’ll be treated to the rare and amazing sight of a total solar eclipse!

Here's what you need to know about the occasion, and how you can enjoy it safely from wherever you are.

What happens during a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth. When the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up exactly, it causes a total eclipse. This is because the diameter of the Sun is 400 times that of the Moon, but coincidentally it is also 400 times further away.

During an eclipse, the Moon temporarily covers the Sun, blocking out the daylight for a short period and casting a shadow on part of the Earth.

How often does a solar eclipse happen?

There are two to five solar eclipses each year, with a total eclipse taking place every 18 months or so. Whether you can view that eclipse depends on where you are in the world.

How long does a solar eclipse last?

The Earth and Moon are always moving, so eclipses are fleeting events. It can take several hours for the Moon to pass in front of the Sun, but the moment of total eclipse (called totality) lasts only a few minutes.

When is the best time to observe the eclipse?

In Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area, the eclipse will begin around 2:00 pm, with totality beginning at 3:18 pm and lasting a few minutes.

Will there be any events at Riverwood at the time of the eclipse?

The Riverwood Conservancy will not be hosting any of our public Discovery events on the day of the solar eclipse. We do, however, hold regular Astronomy Nights at Riverwood with our partners at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Mississauga Centre. Keep an eye on our Events page to see when Astronomy Nights are happening.

How can I observe the eclipse safely?

Looking directly at the Sun without proper protection may lead to serious vision problems such as partial or complete loss of vision.

With that in mind, we’ve partnered with The Monarch Butterfly Eclipse Project to offer solar eclipse viewing glasses that will keep your eyes protected. Plus, a portion of proceeds will be donated to our essential environmental work.

Be sure to get your eye protection ready ahead of April 8 so you and your family aren't caught off guard when the eclipse happens!

UPDATE: the solar eclipse viewing glasses offered by The Monarch Butterfly Eclipse Project are now sold out.