Solar eclipse an emotional experience, says amateur astronomer

Just five days remain until the sky goes dark during a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

Dan McLaughlin, an amateur astronomer, suggests getting a certified pair of solar glasses instead of trying to view it through your phone.

“If you take eclipse pictures with your cell phones, you’re going to be disappointed because the sun is so tiny. In a cell phone, even if you zoom in, it doesn’t make the sun much larger. And if you’re concentrating on your cell phone, you’re going to miss the experience around you,” says McLaughlin.

He says in places like Richibucto, Bouctouche or Kougibouguac, there will be around three minutes of totality and, if the sky is dark and clear enough, you’ll be able to see Venus and Jupiter on each side of the sun.

“You’re going to see the sun’s atmosphere, which is called the corona. It’s going to be bright and white. The temperatures will drop, the wind will pick up, probably in the direction of the passage of the moon. One eclipse chaser I spoke to from Indiana has watched 15 different eclipses, and said it is a very emotional experience,” McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin adds that he’s looking forward to experiencing this for the first time.