One Eclipse Leads To Another

This year the earth will witness four eclipses, two lunar and two solar. Depending on where you live in Canada, you will have a chance to see one of each or even both. On May 26 the Full Flower Moon will be subject to a total lunar eclipse. This is the largest moon of the year producing large tides.

The bad news is the sun will be up in the east and the moon will have already set. Parts of western Ontario might see first umbra contact at moonset. However, the farther west you live, the better the chances of seeing more of the eclipse in progress. Most of Alberta and all of British Columbia as well as the western United States and Mexico will see totality low in the west or when the moon is setting.



Atlantic Time
Not visible

Eastern Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins at 5:44 a.m. Moon already below the horizon for most locations.

Central Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins at 4:44 a.m.

Totality – moon sets before totality begins.

Mountain Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins at 3:44 a.m.

Totality occurs at moonset


Pacific Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins at 2:44 a.m.

Totality begins at 4:11 a.m.

Mid eclipse at 4:18 a.m.

Totality ends at 4:25 a.m.
Moon sets before partial eclipse end.


Two weeks later the sun, moon and earth will still be geometrically lined up. On the morning of June 10, the eastern half of Canada and the United States will witness a sunrise eclipse sun. This is an annular eclipse where the moon is farthest in its orbit and will not cover the entire sun, even on the total path where it will look like a “wedding band” in the sky.

This will be a fantastic photo opportunity as the sun rises behind the trees or building so plan your location. Opposed to lunar eclipse NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT A PROPER FILTER. Sunglasses are not designed to look directly at the sun. Use #14 welders glass or purchase Baader film which is made to be used with a telescope and binoculars. The filter must be placed in front of the lens thus cooling the image before it gets magnified. You can also look online for eclipse glasses from reputable telescope dealers. A great project with the family is making a pinhole projector using a cereal box. There are other props found around the house such as a spaghetti collinear or anything with small holes to project the image safely on a sheet of paper or the side of a building. Ottawa and Toronto will see 80% of the sun covered with St. John’s NL witnessing about 72% coverage. Precautions to prevent eye injury must always be taken when observing the sun.

We now say goodbye to the winter sky as Taurus, Orion and Gemini sink in the west after sunset. Ursa Majoris (Big Dipper) is now found overhead. On the night of May 4/5, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower will produce an estimated 40 meteors per hour moving at 66 km/sec. This shower is produced by the dusty remains of comet 1P/Halley. The moon will be passed the third-quarter stage and begins to interfere starting around 3:30 a.m. local time.

Mars is low in the western sky in the constellation Gemini. The 16% crescent moon will appear to the left of the red planet on the 15th. As the month progresses, look for Mercury and Venus together low in the NW sky on May 28.  The planet Saturn now rises at 2:40 a.m. local time and Jupiter about half an hour after. This is about the time the constellation Sagittarius and the Milky Way is visible to adore and image on a moonless night. From the countryside on a moonless night, the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy will be visible in the south by 3 am and by 1 am local time at the end of the month.


The new moon occurs on May 11


Until next month, clear skies everyone.

Gary Boyle


eNews date: 
Saturday, May 1, 2021