How to View the Solar Eclipse in Vancouver

Weather permitting, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse in Vancouver on Monday April 8, 2024 when it crosses North America, passing over Mexico, United States, and Canada.

Visit the Space Centre / Visit UBC

Solar Eclipse 2024 NASA:JPL-Caltech:VTAD
3D visualization of the 2024 total eclipse is built with real science data, and shows the shadow of the Moon on Earth. NASA/JPL-Caltech/VTAD

How to View the Solar Eclipse in Vancouver

According to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, our area will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse starting at 10:43am, when 27.8% of the sun will be covered by the Moon.

Viewers in BC are not in the eclipse’s path of totality, which means it will not be safe at any point of the eclipse to look directly at the sun without special protective eyewear. We are likely to see a crescent ‘cut out’ move across the sun peaking at 11:40am and finishing about 12:20pm.

A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse.
Credit: National Park Service
A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse.
Credit: National Park Service

Eclipse Viewing Safety

Safety is the number one priority when viewing a solar eclipse and NASA has issues these safety guidelines – eye protection being a top priority. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

  • View the Sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.
  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. *NOTE we will not observe totality in Vancouver so do not do this!
  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.

A cool effect is to observe the shadows during the eclipse. Let the sunlight pass through something, like a colander, and you’ll see crescent shapes, instead of a circle of light. Here it is through the trees in Downtown Vancouver in 2017:

Space Centre Solar Eclipse Viewing

The Space Centre in Vanier Park (at 1100 Chestnut Street) will be viewing the sun through their solar filtered telescope in the observatory, and have solar eclipse glasses available at their front desk by donation.

UBC Solar Eclipse Viewing

UBC department of physics and astronomy researchers will host a public solar eclipse viewing event outside the UBC Bookstore on April 8, weather permitting, or otherwise, in the UBC Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre lobby. Members of the public can borrow eclipse-viewing glasses to safely view the eclipse. The event will also feature two solar telescopes, edible pin-hole cameras for children and a live feed of NASA’s eclipse coverage.

NASA will also have a live broadcast here.

The next total solar eclipse visible from North America will be in 2033, but only over Alaska. Then in 2044, a total solar eclipse will cross Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, parts of Canada and Greenland.

Find more local events here »