City closes outdoor pools for 30 minutes during peak of partial eclipse on Monday
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Monday, August 21, 2017 8:05AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 21, 2017 3:36PM EDT
The City of Toronto took extra precautions today to keep swimmers safe during a partial solar eclipse.
The peak of the eclipse in Toronto will occur at 2:32 p.m. on Monday and an alert posted on the City of Toronto’s website said that due to low light, staff at outdoor pools will be clearing the facilities for 30 minutes between 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
"We would appreciate participants' cooperation during this time and apologize in advance for any inconvenience," a notice on the city's website read.
Speaking to CP24 Monday, Rachel Ward-Maxwell, a researcher/programmer in Astronomy and Space Sciences at the Ontario Science Centre, said Toronto will not get “significantly darker" during the partial eclipse.
While some parts of the United States saw a full solar eclipse on Monday, only about 70 per cent of the sun was set to be covered in Toronto.
“It may get a little bit dark, kind of like how it is around dusk,” she said.
“If you were in the path of totality, you could actually see the brightest star and some planets.”
Anyone who was planning on watching the eclipse needed to ensure that they have proper protection for their eyes as well as any equipment they use to film or photograph the event, Ward-Maxwell added.
“Unless you have protective filters for your camera, binoculars, telescope, you really shouldn’t be using it to film the eclipse. This is because it could damage the optics and it could damage your eye. So just as your eyes need special protection, any kind of device you are using to image the eclipse really needs to have protection as well,” she said.
Ward-Maxwell said solar eclipses are rare and called today's event "quite a big deal."
She noted that the last time North America saw a solar eclipse of this magnitude was in the late 1970s.
“You can get a minimum of two per year but most of them happen over oceans so we don’t get to see them,” she said.
‘Daily Planet’ host Dan Riskin called Monday’s partial eclipse the “tailgate party” to the Super Bowl for Toronto area residents, who will see a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
“In seven years, there is going to be a total eclipse that is going to be visible from the Golden Horseshoe,” he told CP24 Monday.
“It is going to go right over Hamilton. It is just going to skim past Toronto over Lake Ontario so this is something that we are gearing up for.”