‘Magical feeling’: Manitobans take in partial solar eclipse

Manitobans gathered to watch a rare celestial event on Monday.

A total solar eclipse travelled across North America, with the sun going directly behind the moon on Monday afternoon.

Manitoba was not under the path of totality, but parties at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and The Leaf allowed people to view the eclipse safely.

“I love the fact that so many people have come out to see this,” said Scott Young, planetarium astronomer at the Manitoba Museum. “Because it’s one of those events, we don’t pay attention to the sky very much.

“People might see the sunset, or they might hear about a super moon, but most of the time, they just they don’t think of it. And here you come in and you’re connected to it, because it’s the sun, the moon, the Earth and your head that are all in a perfect line during an eclipse. You’re part of that alignment. And that’s a really magical feeling,” said Young.

Eclipses hold a special place in Young’s heart. He watched a total solar eclipse pass over Winnipeg in 1979.

“During the total phase, we opened up the windows and we saw the black hole sun in the sky with the glow of twilight around it, and the birds chirping, and it was just such an otherworldly feeling,” he said. “And I was just blown away, and I became an astronomer right then.

‘Really cool’

Sean Terichow Parrott, 11, was among those at The Leaf checking out the eclipse.

“I think it’s really cool,” he said. “I looked at it, I saw some kids saying, ‘Oh, it’s starting.’ And I looked and sure enough, there was a chunk in the sun.”

Terichow Parrott said he had seen eclipses in videos and in pictures, but never in person.

“It’s nothing like seeing it in person. It’s so cool,” he said.

People in Ontario and the Maritimes had the best view of the eclipse on Monday.

Manitobans will have a chance to see a total solar eclipse again in 2044.

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