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Queen's University providing 120,000 solar eclipse glasses to residents in Kingston, Ont.


Eclipse fever is taking over southeastern Ontario.

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will pass over a number of cities along the seaway, including Kingston, Ont. On Monday, the city started handing out free solar eclipse glasses to residents.

Queen's University partnered with The Kingston Frontenac Public Library, distributing the glasses at each branch.

"We started thinking about this in 2021,” said Nikhil Arora, an astrophysicist at Queen's and a member of the university's eclipse task force. "Just the initial planning of what we can do in the city, how we should get the enthusiasm and the education and the information out there about this eclipse.”

The glasses are required to view the eclipse safely. If they aren't worn properly, permanent damage can be done to the retinas.

"The importance during the eclipse is actually just before totality and just after there are still those damaging UV light rays,” explained Dr. Yi Ning Strube, a pediatric ophthalmologist with the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

The library at Calvin Park had already given away nearly 2,000 pairs before mid-afternoon Monday, a sure sign the city is looking forward to April 8.

A sign indicating where to pick up Solar Eclipse Glasses at the Calvin Park Branch Public Library in Kingston, Ont. March 25, 2024. (Jack Richardson/CTV News Ottawa).

Last week, the city issued an alert saying it is expecting nearly half a million people to come to Kingston for the event, as larger cities like Toronto and Ottawa won't see a total eclipse. 

CTV News Ottawa will have special live coverage of Monday's solar eclipse.

Watch from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 8. You can also tune in to Newstalk 580 CFRA for continuing coverage.

CTV News will have coverage from Kingston, Brockville, Ottawa and the Niagara Region. Top Stories

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