While there's a frenzy of preparation in other parts of Canada, North America and Mexico over the Apr. 8 solar eclipse, in Cochrane it will be far less sensational.

We'll only have a chance to witness a partial eclipse with only 37.4 per cent of the sun's surface obscured by the moon.

The partial eclipse begins at 11:48 a.m. MDT and ends at 1:38 p.m. MDT, with maximum eclipse occurring at 12:43 p.m. MDT.

The website timeanddate.com will be live streaming the eclipse. Details here.

Eye protection is a must

The Canadian Space Agency says looking directly at the Sun, without appropriate protection, can lead to serious problems such as partial or complete loss of eyesight.

During any solar eclipse, it is imperative to wear special glasses with filters designed for eclipse watching (ISO 12312-2 international standard) to prevent eye damage. Regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes sufficiently.

They offer tips on how to safely watch a solar eclipse here.

How often do solar eclipses occur?

Even though solar eclipses occur every year, they are considered a rare sight, much rarer than a lunar eclipse, explains the website timeanddate. This is because while a solar eclipse is only visible from a very narrow path on Earth, a lunar eclipse is visible from every location on the night side of the Earth while it lasts.

Timeanddate says a solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurred this year on Mar. 25.

While Alberta is expected to experience a 100 per cent lunar eclipse on Mar. 14, 2025, we'll have to wait until 2044 for the next total solar eclipse. That will be one for the books. Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astronomer, says the average for any one spot on Earth to see a total eclipse is about once every 375 years.

Elsewhere many are swarming to ideal locations for the viewing of the total eclipse, including eastern regions of Canada.

Niagara Falls. ON is along the path of totality for the eclipse, making it one of the best places to view the rare event. In preparation for the influx of visitors a state of emergency has been declared.