Winnipeg stargazers vie for glimpse of solar eclipse – Winnipeg |

Scott Young remembers his first solar eclipse.

The young astronomer saw a black hole in the sky with blue flames around it, all while an eerie light revealed stars in the middle of the day.

“It was so magical. Even though it only lasted for two minutes, it changed my life forever. I decided I would be an astronomer right then,” Young said at Assiniboine Park on Saturday, while an annular solar eclipse happened above.

Young, who now works as the planetarium astronomer at the Manitoba Museum, and other science enthusiasts gathered at the park to try and catch a glimpse of the eclipse, which peaked between 11:40 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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The annular eclipse was only partially visible in the prairies and cloudy conditions weren’t favourable for viewing either, yet despite the circumstances groups were still keen to see the astrological event.

Those who could find a gap in the clouds could see about 50 per cent of the sun covered by the moon.

The last total solar eclipse was in 2017 which was visible in its entirety in the U.S. and partially in Canada. The next solar eclipse is expected April 8, which will be seen best in eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

Fellow astronomer, Dennis Lyons, was on hand at the park with a telescope and answers for inquiring minds, hoping to encourage young stargazers to be more active in the sciences.

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“It’s really exciting especially for the younger children, to be able to show them and maybe ignite their passion for science, and be able to have wonder,” he remarked.

Lyons said sharing the experience with others is part of what makes stargazing memorable.

“(It’s) something really cool, and all you have to do is look up and see it. And then maybe ask some questions why.”

— with files from Katherine Dornian

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg misses out on clear shot of solar eclipse'

Winnipeg misses out on clear shot of solar eclipse

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