May 24, 2021 6:13 p.m.
Two major astronomical events are heading to the North American skies in the coming weeks.
In the early morning hours of May 26, astronomers can catch a lunar eclipse when the full moon passes over Earth’s shadow.
According to astronomer Gary Boyle, the partial lunar eclipse will begin around 5:44 a.m. EST, when the moon is already below the horizon for most places.
He said it will be best seen in Western Canada, however, people in southwestern Ontario may still have the chance to enjoy some of the show.
“People who live in southwestern Ontario will see a bit of a moon bite being removed as the moon sets in the western sky on the morning of May 26,” Boyle said. “Unfortunately, that’s all we’ll see for this eclipse. The next, best eclipse will be in November for our part of the country. “
The lunar eclipse will coincide with the full moon, which will appear to be the closest and brightest full moon of the year and one of the two supermoons of 2021.
Unlike solar eclipses, Boyle said lunar eclipses can be observed safely with the naked eye.
“You can still look at pictures in books and magazines,” Boyle said. “But seeing one is really something to remember. “
Two weeks later, on the morning of June 10, there will be a partial solar eclipse at sunrise thanks to the alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun.
Boyle said it would be a great sight to see and a great photoshoot, if done safely. He added that the people of southwestern Ontario will have one of the best seats in the house.
“We give and take on two of these events,” he said. ” Therefore [for the solar eclipse,] we are well seated. The sun will be about 80% covered during the greatest coverage. “
Anyone attempting to look at the sun should take special precautions to avoid eye injury or blindness, and Boyle said sunglasses are not adequate protection.
The eclipse will be in progress when the sun rises at 5:35 am and reaches its maximum extent at 5:40 am before ending at 6:38 am.
According to Boyle, the next big astronomical event for astronomers will be the Perseid meteor shower in August.