Canada’s Niagara region declares a state of emergency out of caution ahead of rare Solar Eclipse

News Excerpt:

Canada's Niagara region has declared a state of emergency ahead of a rare total solar eclipse on April 8 that is expected to gather massive crowds to areas in and around the region's popular waterfalls.

More about the news:

  • Niagara Falls, situated on the US-Canada border, is along the path of totality for the eclipse, making it one of the best places to view the rare Solar Eclipse.
  • The Total Solar Eclipse on April 8 will be the first to touch the province since 1979, and Niagara Falls was declared by National Geographic to be one of the best places to see it.
    • Around one million people are expected to visit Niagara to see the event.
  • Declaring a state of emergency strengthens the tools the region has at its disposal to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors and protect the critical infrastructure in any scenario that might arise.

Niagara Falls:

  • Niagara Falls is a geological wonder and one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. 
  • It is located on the Niagara River that connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and separates New York (USA) from Ontario (Canada).
    • It is made up of three separate waterfalls:
      • Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls)
      • American Falls
      • Bridal Veil Falls

Total Solar Eclipse:

  • A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon completely covers the face of the Sun.
    • It is a relatively rare event that happens about every eighteen months. 
    • The rarity of a total solar eclipse is due to the specific alignment needed between the Earth, Moon, and Sun for this phenomenon to occur.
  • The total phase of the eclipse, where the Moon completely covers the Sun, is visible from along a narrow path of totality
    • Typically, this path across the globe is around 15,000 km (9000 miles) long, but only about 150 km (90 miles) wide.
    • Observers outside the path of totality may see a partial eclipse. 
  • By convention, eclipses are named after their darkest phase—if a solar eclipse is total at any point on Earth, it is called a total solar eclipse.

Where Will the Total Solar Eclipse be Visible?

  • The total solar eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean and traverse North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. 

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