Total Eclipse of the Sun: Where to Watch the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Vancouver

solar eclipse viewing vancouver 2017

Image courtesy of Takeshi Kuboki |

One of the most exciting and anticipated astronomical events of the year will be happening with the solar eclipse scheduled for Monday, August 21. This is the first time in 99 years that North America will be treated with a total eclipse of the sun. Vancouver will be able to observe a whopping 86% totality of the event. So, if you don’t feel like driving down to Portland, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe this spectacular celestial event.

Don’t want to watch it alone? There are several science organizations around the city offering special programming and viewing parties to help you observe the eclipse.

solar eclipse viewing vancouver 2017

Image courtesy of National Park Service |

What is a solar eclipse? A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds.

The path of totality falls not too far south of Vancouver in Oregon and proceeds eastward to the east coast of South Carolina. Observers in Vancouver are outside of this path but will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers approximately 85% of the sun’s disk. (See also: “Is it dangerous to look at a solar eclipse?“)

If you want to see the celestial event of the century, there are plenty of places to watch the partial eclipse in Vancouver:

Science World will be making the most of this spectacular event with free outdoor programming from 9am to noon. There will be live eclipse-themed science activities and demonstrations, and eclipse viewers (while supplies last). There will also be viewing available of the total eclipse in the U.S. shown in the Science Theatre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will also be hosting a big community viewing party from 8:45am – noon with solar telescopes, live streams, sun projections, and solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing. During and after the viewing, the Space Centre will be open for special, eclipse-themed shows and activities.

The University of British Columbia’s physics and astronomy department will also be holding an event from 9:30am to 11:30am at the Point Grey campus. Similar to the previous events, UBC will feature eclipse viewers and telescopes, a live streaming of the total eclipse and presentations about how an eclipse occurs.

Timing of the Eclipse:

Set a reminder on your calendar! You can view the eclipse in the morning of Monday, August 21, 2017:

  • Start of eclipse: 9:10 am
  • Maximum: 10:21 am
  • End of eclipse: 11:37 am
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