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Partial Solar Eclipse, June 1, 2011

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Partial Solar Eclipse
Photo: Espace pour la vie (Planétarium de Montréal)

On Wednesday, June 1, at the end of the afternoon (Quebec time) the Moon's shadow-cone will pass just above the Earth's North Pole. It won't be a total eclipse of the Sun, just a partial one, but it will be visible to varying degrees in the Arctic and neighbouring regions.

Eclipse visibility

The southern limit for viewing this partial eclipse will cut across Quebec diagonally: From James Bay, this imaginary line passes close to Chibougamau, and just north of lac Saint-Jean; it cuts across the St. Laurence River near Saint-Siméon in the Charlevoix, and Rivière-du-Loup on the south shore. In all regions situated north and east of this line, a partial solar eclipse will be visible. The Gaspé Peninsula, Magdalen Islands, the North Shore and Nunavik, plus Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and the northern half of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, will all be within this zone.

However, throughout most inhabited areas, the eclipse will be somewhat inconspicuous. On the North Shore, for example, during the maximum phase, barely 3 percent of the Sun's surface will be obscured by the Moon: just visible to the naked eye, using solar filters specially designed for observing eclipses. To really see the tiny dent at the Sun's edge, caused by the Moon's silhouette, you'll need an optical instrument (binoculars or a telescope) equipped with a solar filter. In the far north of Québec, the eclipse will be more pronounced, though it won't exceed 11 percent.

Local Circumstances for the 2011 June 1 Partial Solar Eclipse

Québec (EDT)

  Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
Rimouski 18:30 18:43 18:55 0.0198 0.33 %
Matane 18:26 18:42 18:58 0.0345 0.76 %
Gaspé 18:21 18:41 19:02 0.0573 1.62 %
Bonaventure 18:26 18:43 18:59 0.0371 0.84 %
Tadoussac 18:37 18:43 18:50 0.0060 0.06 %
Baie-Comeau 18:25 18:41 18:58 0.0346 0.76 %
Sept-Îles 18:17 18:39 19:01 0.0650 1.96 %
Havre-Saint-Pierre 18:14 18:39 19:03 0.0857 2.95 %
Natashquan 18:12 18:39 19:04 0.0979 3.59 %
Fermont 18:07 18:35 19:02 0.0999 3.71 %
Chisasibi 18:16 18:33 18:49 0.0317 0.67 %
Schefferville 18:00 18:31 19:02 0.1315 5.56 %
Kuujjuaq 17:49 18:25 19:00 0.1680 7.99 %
Salluit 17:38 18:17 18:54 0.1824 9.02 %

Magdalen Islands, QC (ADT)

  Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
Cap-aux-Meules 19:23 19:43 20:02 0.0538 1.47 %

Atlantic Provinces (ADT)

  Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
Moncton 19:37 19:46 19:54 0.0099 0.12 %
Charlottetown 19:32 19:45 19:59 0.0253 0.48 %
Sydney 19:26 19:44 20:02 0.0465 1.19 %

Newfoundland (NDT)

  Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
St. John's 19:41 20:09 20:37 0.1237 5.08 %

Nunavut (EDT)

  Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
Iqaluit 17:31 18:14 18:56 0.2413 13.6 %

North Pole (UT)

Begins Maximum Ends Magnitude* Obscuration*
20:27 21:21 22:14 0.4693 35.4 %

* Notes: The magnitude of an eclipse is the fraction of the solar diameter that is covered by the moon at maximum eclipse. Obscuration is the percentage of the solar surface area that is hidden by the moon at maximum eclipse.

Observation

Caution! One must never look toward the sun without using a proper solar filter, either with the naked eye or through an optical instrument.

If no suitable filter is available, the Sun’s image can also be projected on a screen with a pair of binoculars or small telescope. In this case, a filter should not be used. However, the setup must be monitored at all times to ensure that no one accidentally looks through the optics.

Under all circumstances, please follow the tips and techniques on how to safely observe the sun for a safe and enjoyable observation of the eclipse.

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