Brock University to mark solar eclipse with free community event

MEDIA RELEASE: February 22 2024 – R0022

The Niagara community is invited to join Brock University experts and special guests in celebrating a rare celestial spectacle.

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will take place over southern Ontario, with the moon passing between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun completely and turning the sky dark enough to see the stars.

This rare astronomical event will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred over Ontario was in 1979, and the next one won’t happen again over the province until 2099.

As Niagara is one of the few places in North America expected to experience the April 8 eclipse, Brock University is preparing for the cosmic phenomenon by offering a free community event.

Hosted by the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Eclipse on the Escarpment will feature a variety of educational exhibits beginning at noon in Ian Beddis Gymnasium led by Brock researchers, educators and experts in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, English Language and Literature, Interactive Arts and Science, Physics and more.

Following the informational demonstrations and discussions, a community viewing of the total solar eclipse — expected to take place from 3:18 p.m. to 3:21 p.m. — will take place on Alumni Field.

Experienced faculty and staff will be available to discuss the eclipse and help guide the use of on-site viewing apparatuses, such as pinhole projectors and Sun Spotter solar telescopes. Complimentary certified eclipse glasses will be available (while quantities last) to safely view the eclipse. Participants are encouraged to bring their own should they have them.

“The eclipse is a wonderful opportunity for Brock University to engage members of the local community in math and science,” says Department of Physics Chair and Professor Thad Harroun, who is leading the organization of Brock’s eclipse event and outreach efforts. “The educational exhibits will feature interesting topics related to the eclipse and our solar system, and our place within it. Our researchers and experts are looking forward to talking about their work and sharing their passions with others.”

Anyone interested in attending Eclipse on the Escarpment is asked to register for free via ExperienceBU or email

Paid visitor parking is available on campus via the HONK app.

Guests from across North America will be joining Brock scientists in experiencing the eclipse. Representatives from the SETI Institute, Niagara Geopark, Niagara College Photonics program and others will be on campus with telescopes and other instruments to gather data and observe the eclipse.

The University’s experts will also be out in the Niagara community the day of the eclipse. Physics students will be supporting programming offered by Niagara Parks, and representatives from Brock’s Let’s Talk Science team will be leading eclipse-related activities as part of the City of Port Colborne’s programming.

The University’s Physics department has also collaborated with the District School Board of Niagara in the filming of informational videos to assist DSBN teachers in educating their students about the eclipse.

In addition to certified solar eclipse glasses being available in the Ian Beddis Gymnasium beginning at noon, Brock community members and event visitors can pick up a free pair of glasses (while quantities last) Monday, April 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at one of several on-campus locations:

  • Brock University Students’ Union desk
  • Cairns Complex welcome desk
  • Hungry Badger in Walker Sports Complex
  • Rankin Family Pavilion welcome desk
  • Thistle Hall, across from the Brock Card service desk at the top of the stairs leading down to Market Hall
  • Walker Sports Complex welcome desk

Looking directly at the sun with the naked eye or through any device or filter other than certified eclipse glasses may result in permanent damage and even blindness. Information on how to view the solar eclipse safely, as well as additional event details, can be found on Brock’s eclipse event website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

* Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Brock University or 905-941-6209

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