The Kerry Wood Nature Centre is inviting families to a partial solar eclipse party on Monday (April 8).  

“We have this perfect alignment of the sun, the moon, and the Earth so if you are in exactly the right spot, you will see the moon cover up the sun in the middle of the day,” Alice Koning, Kerry Wood Nature Centre Community Outreach Coordinator said.  

To see the total solar eclipse, viewers must be on the path of totality, which travels through Mexico, the eastern side of the United States and into the Maritimes.   

“Here in Red Deer, we don't get the total solar eclipse view because we're slightly off alignment from that perfect lineup,” Koning said. “From Red Deer, we see a partial solar eclipse where the moon never fully covers the sun, but it partially covers the sun, so it looks as if the sun is a cookie and then the cookie monster has come along and taken a bite out of it.”  

During the viewing party, attendees will be able to view the partial solar eclipse in several ways.  

“We're going to have several different ways to safely look at the sun because you cannot look at a solar eclipse with just your eyeballs. You need to have some special equipment,” Koning said.   

She explained that viewers can make their own pinhole camera using a cereal box and tin foil, or by using a kitchen colander and looking at the shadow it creates.   

Another way to view the partial solar eclipse is by using eclipse glasses.  

“They're really, really dark film, much darker than any sunglasses on the market,” Koning said. “Through them, you can't see anything except when you look at the sun, where the sun is now this beautiful orange color.”   

In the fall, the Kerry Wood Nature Centre hosted an annular solar eclipse party, which was received fantastically by the community, she said.   

“It's part of our mandate to be as accessible as possible, and so these solar eclipse parties are a good way for us to make sure we are fully accessible to everybody,” Koning said. “It's also part of our mandate to educate central Albertans about nature, and so the sun, the moon, the Earth are all things that are in the broader nature picture and help us reflect on what's important in life.”  

The partial solar eclipse party kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1:30 p.m. on April 8 at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.