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Solar Eclipse 2024

It's the event of a lifetime for many! On April 8, 2024, Chatham-Kent is among areas in southern Ontario to witness a total solar eclipse. The last total eclipse experienced in the province was February 26, 1979, in Northern Ontario, and the next one won't happen again over the province until 2099.

Viewing the total solar eclipse in Chatham-Kent

Parts of Chatham-Kent are located directly in the path of totality for the upcoming April 8th total solar eclipse. While there is not one particular location for viewing to take place, many will be flocking to the areas along the Lake Erie Shoreline. Traffic could be heavier than usual, so be sure to be prepared and patient. 

NOTE: Rondeau Provincial Park is SOLD OUT for day use on Monday, April 8. 2024. Only vehicles with a campsite, pavilion or day use reservation will be allowed to enter the park. 
What is a solar eclipse?

The Moon orbits around the Earth, and sometimes the Moon is between the Sun and Earth. When this happens, the Moon blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth, causing a solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the Moon casts a shadow onto Earth.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is only visible from a small area on Earth. The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. For a total eclipse to occur, the Sun, Moon and Earth must be in a direct line. Total solar eclipses roughly take place once every 18 months.

Where can you view the eclipse?

Total solar eclipses are only visible within a narrow path. In order to witness the full eclipse, you must be located in this path of totality. Due to the path along the Lake Erie Shoreline, areas of Chatham-Kent lie directly in this path, making it a prime viewing location.

When can you view the eclipse?

The total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8th, 2024 from approximately 2:00pm – 4:30pm, depending on the specific viewing point. View the timeline for Chatham-Kent here.  You can also visit Time and Date for an interactive map that shows the visibility of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. You can select any location to see the local type, date, and time of the eclipse. See how this eclipse looks where you live.

How to safely view the eclipse

Eclipsed or not, you should never look directly at the Sun, without proper protective eyewear as the Sun's radiation can be incredibly damaging. On this particular day, looking directly at the Sun is unsafe at all times, except during the brief totality phase when the Moon is entirely blocking the Sun's face. It will suddenly get very dark when totality is taking place.

During the other phases of the eclipse, it is only safe to look directly at the Sun through special-purpose solar glasses. The protective gear must pass safety standards. 

How to use solar eclipse glasses

If any part of the sun's bright disk is still visible, use solar eclipse glasses. If you're in the path of totality—that narrow shadow of the moon through parts of 15 U.S. states—you must take them off during totality, when no part of the sun's bright disk is visible then put them back on as soon as the shift to visible sun resumes. 

Watch this video for visual prompts

Where can I get approved viewing glasses? Safety first

Viewing glasses are not a requirement to be safe on this day. First and foremost, we suggest following the many safety tips available online, and specifically ensure your routine on this day includes taking the timeline into consideration for planning your daily activities. Above all, you should not directly look at the sun. If you are looking to purchase viewing glasses online, ensure they are ISO approved. 

UPDATE as of March 27, 2024

  • All solar viewing glasses have been given out by Chatham-Kent Tourism 
  • For those viewing in the Erieau area on Monday, April 8, a limited amount will be available at businesses open in Erieau on a first-come, first-served availability. 


  • These glasses are not meant to ensure you can work, live or play safely during the total solar eclipse and must be used responsibly.
  • These glasses are being handed out as a promotional item and while they meet requirements, are not meant to be used as a tool. 
  • These glasses are CE-certified eclipse glasses that conform and meet the Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2:2015.
  • NASA has also shared an easy method to vet eclipse glasses at home. Buyers should put on their glasses and look at a bright light, like a flashlight. If the light is "extremely dim," or doesn't appear at all, the glasses are safe, Susannah Darling, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. 
  • By wearing the glasses and accepting them, Chatham-Kent Tourism takes no responsbility for any harm that may be done while wearing them, if they are worn incorrectly or improperly. 
  • The best advice is to avoid looking at the sun directly at all, with or without proper protection. 

What if I don't have a pair of approved solar viewing glasses? 

Solar viewing glasses are not a requirement to have on this day, and therefore are not a necessity. It is recommended during this time, you do not look directly at the sun and stay indoors during this time and plan ahead accordingly. Click here for more safety tips

More Information

We encourage you to explore the many informative websites and organizations providing information about this day. 

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Discover the Universe – Eclipse 2024

The American Astronomical Society Eclipse Page