2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Share this webpage with friends and family to ensure everyone is prepared to safely witness the magic of the solar eclipse.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, Northumberland County is one of the lucky areas that will experience a rare celestial event! The Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on our region. For parts of the county, complete darkness will occur under the path of totality.

Now is the time to start planning how best to experience the eclipse and make preparations for the potential impact to our area — most importantly, how to safely view and enjoy this spectacular event. By understanding what a solar eclipse is, planning your viewing experience, and prioritizing safety precautions, you can safely enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Safety reminder: NEVER look directly at the Sun through binoculars, a telescope or with your unaided eye. Looking at the Sun without proper safety filters can cause permanent eye damage.

Service interruptions: Please note that due to potential low lighting, Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) located in Bewdley, Seymour and Brighton will be closing at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 8th. Additionally, the Northumberland County Forest will be closed from 12 p.m. Sunday, April 7th and will reopen the morning of Tuesday, April 9th. 

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. This casts a shadow on the Earth's surface, where the sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. In order to see the total eclipse, you must be located in a narrow band on Earth, known as the 'path of totality'.

The lower part of Northumberland County lies directly in the path of totality, where observers will see almost two full minutes of totality when the moon completely blocks the sun.

The northern part of the County will still experience 99% partial eclipse, offering a unique opportunity for all residents to witness this extraordinary celestial event. 

Solar eclipses occur about every 18 months on our planet. In our region, the last total eclipse was 400 years ago and won’t happen again for another 375 years!

To learn more, watch the National Geographic's video on the solar eclipse.

Where will the path of totality occur in Northumberland? 

Path of the 2024 solar eclipse The majority of the 185-km wide path of totality will be over the Great Lakes, but the upper edge of the band will travel across the southern part of our region. The closer you are to the centre of the path, the longer the duration of totality.

The eclipse will begin just before Port Hope and run east towards Brighton, with the widest part of the band reaching County Road 30 and County Road 27. Residents in the north part of the County, above the red line indicated in the map of the path of totality, will experience a partial eclipse.

Find the path of totality in our region

How can I safely view the eclipse? 

You should never look directly at the Sun without proper protective eyewear. Looking at the Sun during a partial or total eclipse, without proper safety filters, can cause permanent eye damage. During the brief totality phase, when the Moon is entirely blocking the Sun’s face eye protection can be briefly removed.

During the other phases of the eclipse, when even a sliver of Sun appears, it is only safe to look directly at the eclipse through special-purpose solar glasses.

Seek medical attention immediately, if you notice any symptoms such as pain, blurred vision or dark spots with vision within 24-48 hours following the solar eclipse.

Prepare and protect yourself for safe viewing experience:

  • Prepare ahead with an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Only use glasses with special filters adhering to ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • Regular sunglasses or homemade filters will not protect your eyes — certified solar glasses are 1000xs darker than regular sunglasses.
  • NEVER look directly at the Sun through binoculars, a telescope or with your unaided eye.
  • Closely monitor infants and small children, especially those without proper eye protection.
  • If you plan to view the eclipse with friends and family, remember to monitor your respiratory symptoms to avoid spreading illness to others.

For more comprehensive health information, visit the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit's website. 

How long will the solar eclipse last? 

On April 8th, the start of the eclipse will begin at 2:06 p.m. in the afternoon in Port Hope and the whole event will last for just over two hours. Full totality (total darkness) will start around 3:20 p.m. and last about one minute in Port Hope and about two minutes in Brighton which will be closer to the centre of path of totality.

Solar eclipse timing in Northumberland
LocationPartial FullTotalityTotality Duration
Port Hope 14:06:47 15:20:59 0m 55.5s
Cobourg 14:06:59  15:20:56 1m 21.5s
Colborne 14:07:24   15:21:02 1m 51.7s
Grafton 14:07:12 15:21:00 1m 34.7s
Brighton  14:07:39 15:21:10 1m 59.9s

Impact to the area 

During the solar eclipse, you can expect several notable changes in your surroundings:

  • A gradual dimming of natural light as the moon partially obscures the sun
  • A temporary drop in temperature as the Sun's heat is partially blocked by the Moon's shadow
  • Potential increase in visitors from outside of Northumberland, which could impact travel, strain County resources and impact emergency services and telecommunications
  • Potential changes in wildlife behaviour, such as birds roosting or animals becoming more active due to the sudden darkness
  • An unforgettable experience of witnessing the Sun's corona—a glowing halo of plasma—during the brief period of totality for those within the path of totality

Frequently asked questions 

Where can solar eclipse glasses be purchased?

When buying your solar eclipse glasses, it is important to only use reputable sellers. NASA and Discover the Universe has a listing of trusted suppliers:

What injuries can occur if looking at the eclipse without proper protection?

Looking at even a small sliver of the Sun without eye protection before or after the eclipse can be harmful to your vision. Eyes do not have pain receptors, so it is difficult to know that injury to the eyes is occurring. 

Health impacts may include: 

  • Retinal burns
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of eyesight (immediate or delayed onset)

If you or someone you love experiences these or any other health emergencies, seek medical attention immediately. 

How should you prepare to view the solar eclipse, aside from ensuring eye safety?

 To make the most of this rare event, it is essential to plan your eclipse viewing in advance:

  • Identify a safe and unobstructed location with a clear view of the sky in the path of totality.
  • Consider parks, open fields, or elevated areas away from tall buildings or trees.
  • Check the eclipse viewing times for Northumberland County to ensure you don't miss any phases of the eclipse.
  • Arrive at your chosen viewing spot well ahead of time to set up equipment and get comfortable.
  • Bring along essential supplies such as water, snacks, chairs or blankets, and any equipment you'll need for viewing or photography.

How can you capture a solar eclipse? 

Capturing the beauty of a solar eclipse can be a memorable experience, but it requires caution and proper equipment:

  • Use a solar filter on your camera lens to protect your camera's sensor from damage.
  • Experiment with different camera settings to achieve the best results, such as adjusting exposure and focus.
  • Consider using a tripod to keep your camera stable during long exposures.
  • Practice taking photos of the Sun before the eclipse to familiarize yourself with your equipment and settings.
  • Capture your images and experience and share on Northumberland County social media platforms with the hashtag #NOCOeclipse!

What is What3words, and how does it help in emergency situations?

Emergency service providers in Northumberland encourage residents to download the what3words app, which uses an innovative grid-based address system to help first responders pinpoint a caller's exact location and reach them with minimal delay.

For more information on the app and emergency preparedness in Northumberland, visit our Emergency Preparedness webpage. 

How can you prepare your business? 

During the solar eclipse, it is expected that Northumberland will see an increase in visitors from the surrounding area. Review our Total Eclipse Fact Sheet to ensure you, your business and employees are prepared.

2024 Total Solar Eclipse Fact Sheet

Will there be service interruptions?  

Community Recycling Centres 

Due to potential low lighting, the County's Community Recycling Centres located in Bewdley, Seymour, and Brighton will be closing at 1p.m. on Monday, April 8th. Regular operating hours will resume the following day. 


Northumberland County Forest 

Due to potential low lighting and impacts to wildlife, Northumberland County Forest will be closed from 12 p.m. Sunday, April 7th, until the morning of Tuesday, April 9th.