Where to see the Solar Eclipse in Nova Scotia

Last Updated on March 31, 2024

On April 8th, 2024 there will be a total solar eclipse that will cross North America from Mexico to Newfoundland and Labrador. The eclipse will be seen in eastern Canada in the late afternoon. The best places to see the total solar eclipse in the maritimes will be in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Do not worry though as all of Nova Scotia should still be able to see a 95% partial solar eclipse. If you are lucky you might also catch the total solar eclipse in northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia along the Cabot Trail.

A black sky and black moon as it passes in front of the sun with only the outline of the sun being seen in a total solar eclipse
Image credit by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

For the majority of Nova Scotia it will be a a partial eclipse. But there will still be a large amount of coverage and that is a still a chance to see it nonetheless. The closer you get to Meat Cove, Cape Breton the closer to the point of totality you will be. This will be a once in a lifetime experience and will not occur again in Canada until 2044.

A picture of the moon in front the sun with sunbeams coming out behind it.
Image credit Dennis di Cicco / Sky & Telescope

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is when the sun, moon and earth align exactly, so that the moon fully blocks out the sun from earth. The total eclipse on April 8th, 2024 will only last for 3-4 minutes in an area but the whole process occurs over several hours as the moon passes between the earth and sun.

This unique astronomical experience only happens every 18 months or so and is only seen fully in areas located along the line of totality. The line of totality always changes as well, with total eclipses taking place in various parts of the world each time. Other areas nearby the line of totality each time it happens will still experience a partial solar eclipse.

There are three types of solar eclipses. Partial when the moon only covers part of the sun. Annular where the moon is further from the earth and as it passes in front of the sun it doesn’t fully cover the sun instead leaving a ring of fire to be viewed. Total is when the moon is closer to the earth and completely blacks out the sun.

A group of kids look towards the sky to view a solar eclipse wearing protective eclipse glasses

How to Safely View a Solar Eclipse

When viewing the sun or an eclipse always be sure to wear proper eyewear! You can purchase solar eclipse eyeglasses here. Be sure to buy eclipse viewing glasses that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard in advance. Or you could also wear a welding mask, make a DIY eclipse viewer or make a pinhole viewer. Lastly you can take a mirror and view its reflection of the eclipse on a surface to see the eclipse indirectly. (Do not look into the mirror.)

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The Caledonia Pharmachoice has solar eclipse glasses on sale for $5.99 a pair. They are located at 9849 Highway 8 Caledonia, NS, Canada B0T1B0.

As of March 29th, 2024 the Canadian Tire and Redmond’s Home Hardware in Tantallon, NS are both selling eclipse viewing glasses.

A picture of the bras d'or lake in cape breton, nova scotia with boats sailing in the distance, a few clouds in the sky and the bright sun shining down

Where is the best place to see the eclipse in Nova Scotia?

The experts say that the best place to see the total solar eclipse in Nova Scotia will be in Cape Breton near Meat Cove. That is your closest spot in Nova Scotia for seeing the eclipse in totality. However the remainder of Nova Scotia will still have a great view of a partial eclipse.

To see the eclipse, make sure you are outside in a clear open area where you can fully see the sun. Also hope for clear skies and visibility to be able to see it happen as well.

a sunny day at peggys cove lighthouse

When is the total solar eclipse in Nova Scotia?

The total solar eclipse in Nova Scotia happens on April 8, 2024 and begins around 3:30pm Atlantic Daylight Time. By 4:15pm it will be a half eclipse with it being its fullest and closest to totality from around 4:35pm to 4:41pm. The eclipse will continue as the moon finishes passing in front of the sun until approximately 5:43pm ADT.

For a visual map and video of the April 8th, 2024 eclipse in Nova Scotia click HERE.

fishing boats sit on the ocean floor at low tide in saint martins new brunswick

Where is the best place to see the eclipse in New Brunswick?

The best places in New Brunswick to see the solar eclipse are Woodstock, Fredericton, Moncton and Miramichi as they line up exactly with the path of totality. Other areas of the province on either sides of the path will still have a great viewing of a partial solar eclipse of around 98%.

The eclipse will begin in New Brunswick at 3:32pm ADT. It will reach totality around 4:32 pm until 4:36pm. The full eclipse experience will end around 5:42pm.

overlooking a sea cliff into the ocean with wind turbines lining the shore in north cape prince edward island

Where is the best place to see the eclipse in Prince Edward Island?

Western Prince Edward Island will have the southern part of the solar eclipse line of totality pass through it completely. From Cavendish to Kensington and further west you should see a total solar eclipse. Tignish is also close to the line of totality as you can get in the province. The rest of Prince Edward Island however will still be able to see the partial solar eclipse of at least 95% or more.

The total solar eclipse will begin in Prince Edward Island at 3:26pm ADT. It will reach totality around 4:34pm until 4:39pm. The full eclipse experience will end around 5:43pm.

the view from signal hill overlooking st johns newfoundland and labrador on a cloudy sunny day

Where is the best place to see the eclipse in Newfoundland and Labrador?

The total solar eclipse cuts right through Newfoundland from the bottom left to top right. The line of totality runs from Codroy on the west coast through to Bonavista in eastern Newfoundland. All of Newfoundland and parts of Labrador however will have a view of the partial solar eclipse.

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The total solar eclipse will start in Newfoundland at 4:01pm NDT. It will reach totality around 5:09pm until 5:16pm across the province. The full eclipse experience in Newfoundland will end around 6:17pm NDT.

Where Are the Best Places to See an Eclipse?

Being outside is best to see a total solar eclipse, preferably in a wide open area where it is easy to see the sun with no obstructions. Be sure to check the weather before the event and hope for clear skies and good visibility at the time. Also remember it is never a good idea to look directly at the sun but especially during an eclipse.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Events in Nova Scotia

If you are looking for a solar eclipse viewing event or party in Nova Scotia on April 8th, 2024 here are a few options:

Halifax – Saint Mary’s University Burke-Gaffney Observatory on SMU campus. They will have a few solar telescopes and eclipse glasses for viewing. For more information about viewing with them reach out to info@observatory.smu.ca

If you are in the Bedford area then head to Mount Saint Vincent for Eclipse on the Mount. From 2pm to 5:45pm the MSVU Faculty Of Education invites everyone to enjoy educational activities, eclipse viewing with certified eclipse glasses, a marshmallow BBQ, refreshments and more. You can also learn how to make a DIY pinhole viewer. RSVP here.

an image with a father and daughter viewing an eclipse through a telescope and text about the upcoming eclipse event

Hoping to view the solar eclipse with the kids? Think about heading to the Discovery Centre on the Halifax waterfront for fun filled day of learning and eclipse viewing for all! On April 8th, there will be a scavenger hunt, you can learn to make a pinhole viewer, hold a meteorite, learn about space suits and more. Also there will be free eclipse viewing glasses for all. Learn more and get tickets here.

Hubbards – The J.D. Shatford Memorial Library in Hubbards, Nova Scotia will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing event from 4-5pm on April 8th. They will be providing free eclipse viewing glasses for those that attend. First come, first served. Learn about the eclipse and enjoy some hot drinks and snacks as well.

Road Trip to New Brunswick for the Solar Eclipse

If you are wanting to see the total solar eclipse but live in Nova Scotia and don’t have a way to get to New Brunswick then book a day trip with Cliff Valley Astronomy. On April 8th, 2024 they will pick you up in Halifax or Dartmouth in a deluxe motorcoach the morning of the eclipse. You drive to Miramichi, New Brunswick where you enjoy lunch then go to the Miriamichi airport to view the total solar eclipse. Finish the day with dinner and then a drive back to Halifax. The tour also includes eclipse viewing glasses and a t-shirt from the experience. Book now before it sells out HERE.

If you are looking for a great place to stay while in New Brunswick for the Solar Eclipse I personally recommend the Rodd Moncton Hotel. It is located just a short drive from the path of totality. The Rodd is also right next to the Petitcodiac River where you can watch the tidal bore from the Bay of Fundy which should be quite large the day of the eclipse.

I will update more events here as I learn about them.

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