The near-total eclipse drew Langley residents outside Monday morning to see the changes themselves as the moon blocked about 85 per cent of the sun.
“I have an amateur interest in astronomy,” said Cameron Strobel, who with Jennifer Pomeroy observed the eclipse from Douglas Park in Langley City.
“It kind of puts into perspective where you are,” Strobel said of the rare celestial event.
He put together the simple pinhole camera from a vacuum cleaner box and a piece of aluminum foil with a pinprick hole. A second viewing hole allows seeing a projection as the moon passes between the sun and the earth.
James Ferguson opted to use a digital camera to capture images of the eclipse.
Special glasses, bought a few weeks ago, allowed Ryan Lefurgey to check out the event.
“Pretty awesome,” he said of the eclipse. “It’s going to be a while until we get to see something like this again. Definitely got to enjoy it.”
Big crowds at the Fort Langley National Historic Site meant people had to share the limited number of viewing glasses but many also came with their own devices.
Colin Bailey fashioned a basic projector from cardboard, tape, binoculars and a tripod then shone the sun on a surface for the family and friends to view.
Peter Jansen from Ladner joined his friend, Elizabeth Wride, of Fort Langley, to watch. They brought both welders goggles with extra protection and a simple mylar viewer.
Some kids initially thought they were looking at the moon.
“That looks crazy,” commented young Dayne Gerez.
Fort Historic site staff gave a brief presentation on history and eclipses.
Over the course of Fort Langley’s existence, there have numerous eclipses.
One in 1860 Simon Newcombe, of the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, wrote in his journal that he was looking forward to the eclipse to take readings for navigation between Hudson Bay forts such as Langley’s.
At the Greater Vancouver Zoo, they noticed some interesting effects from the eclipse but not with those under their care.
“We did not note any unusual behaviour from the animals, but staff had fun safely watching the event and we definitely noted the drop in temperature and pressure as well as the change in lighting. It was a very cool experience,” said Menita Prasad, the animal care manager.