Local Amateur Astronomer Calls Solar Eclipse 'Magical'

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 13:04 PM

'The most magical thing in nature you can see' is how a Saint John amateur astronomer describes the much-anticipated partial solar eclipse that we here in New Brunswick witnessed on Monday.

Chris Curwin runs the Facebook page Astronomy By the Bay and does what is called 'sidewalk astronomy' which involves taking your telescope and setting it up in public, urban locations to give people a chance to view the cosmos for free.

He says over 350 people showed up at the Irving Nature Park for the live event, which was hosted by the park and the Saint John Astronomy Club.

"To say we were overwhelmed I would say that would be an understatement. It was a great day to be able to share everything," says Curwin.

"We're living in a time when we have a very beautiful coincidence going on in our sky. The moon is 400 times closer to us than the sun, it's also 400 times smaller in diameter which means that the sun and the moon look the same size in our sky. So, the moon has the ability every once in a while to totally cover the disc of the sun and there's no more amazing display in nature as far as I'm concerned."

He says that even if it's a partial eclipse it's very special to see the moon crossing the disc of the sun.

A live feed of the eclipse was done by Curwin which, when we spoke with him, had just over 30,000 views.

(photo from Curwin's live-feed of the eclipse)