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Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, 2024, there will be a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse is when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth. The Sun’s disk is partially or fully hidden from sight by the Moon, resulting in momentary darkness.  To learn more about what a solar eclipse is visit: Your Guide to Solar Eclipses.

There will be several communities in Southern and Eastern Ontario in the path of totality (the path traced on Earth’s surface by the Moon’s shadow during a total solar eclipse). Renfrew County and District is just north of the path of totality and will experience a partial eclipse. The solar eclipse is expected to start at approximately 2:00 p.m. and last for two and a half hours.

WARNING! It is always dangerous to look directly at the Sun, especially during an eclipse. This can harm your eyes and even cause permanent damage and loss of sight.

To avoid eye damage during a solar eclipse:

  • Do not look directly at the eclipse. Looking at even a small sliver before or after the eclipse without approved eye protection can be harmful to your vision.
  • It is not safe to look at the Sun without approved eye protection. Regular sunglasses will not protect people’s eyes.
  • Glasses have to have specialized filters designed for eclipse watching that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 to prevent eye damage. Remember to check your eclipse glasses:
    • Eclipse glasses should be inspected prior to use for wrinkles or scratches and should not be used if damaged.
    • Ensure that eclipse glasses fully cover your field of vision.
    • Put on eclipse glasses when looking away from the Sun, then look at the eclipse. Look away from the Sun before taking glasses off.
    • Help children use their eye protection correctly and provide adult supervision, as they may not fully understand the risk involved.
  • If you do not have solar eclipse glasses, consider:
  • It is not safe to look at the Sun through a camera lens (including a cell phone camera), telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

Staring at the Sun without eye protection may cause solar retinopathy, which is damage to your retina – the tissue at the back of your eye. Your retinas do not have pain sensors to signal damage from staring at the Sun. It is not safe to look at the Sun without approved eye protection. Regular sunglasses will not protect people’s eyes.

Symptoms of eye damage can take 12 to 48 hours to appear and could involve retinal burns, loss of eyesight (immediate or delayed onset), and blurred vision. While some people fully recover their vision slowly over months, others will have permanent vision loss. Symptoms can include:

  • Mild/severe pain
  • Bloodshot eye
  • Blurry vision and watery eyes
  • Headache
  • A blind spot in your central vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Distortion – straight lines look bent
  • Unable to read as well as before
  • Changes in the way you see colour
  • Light sensitivity
  • Constant sensation of a foreign body in the eye

Note: there is no pain when the retina is being burned and it takes several hours for symptoms to appear.

If you experience any changes in your vision during or following the solar eclipse, speak to your eye care professional (e.g., optometrist) or your health care provider as soon as possible. Do not drive.

An eclipse can be an extraordinary event to witness but you do not want to cause a traffic collision. Make sure to follow these recommendations during the solar eclipse:

  • Don’t stop on the shoulder of the road to view the eclipse
  • Exit the highway to take photographs
  • Don’t take photographs while driving
  • Turn on your headlights
  • Watch out for pedestrians

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Pembroke Office

141 Lake Street, Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5L8

Phone: 613-732-3629
Toll Free: 1-800-267-1097
Fax: 613-735-3067

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Renfrew Service Hub (By Appointment Only)

120 Plaunt Street South, Renfrew, Ontario, K7V 1M5

Services offered by appointment only.

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