On the afternoon of April 8th, Montreal will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time in over 90 years. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon casts its shadow on the Earth, blocking all (a total eclipse) or part (a partial eclipse) of the sun. This happens because of a remarkable coincidence -- while the Sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon, it is also about 400 times further away, making both the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size for Earth-bound observers. The Moon casts two shadows on the Earth — a smaller, darker shadow, known as the umbra and the larger shadow known as the penumbra. Observers in the umbra see a total eclipse. Observers in the penumbra see a partial eclipse.
The path of totality (the region where the eclipse will be total) crosses southern Quebec, including the greater Montreal area, Montérégie and the Eastern Townships. In Montreal, the eclipse itself will begin at around 2:15 pm, hit totality at around 3:20 pm, and end by 4:30 pm.
To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event (Montreal won’t see another total eclipse until the next century), we’re organizing a series of activities that will run from February to April 2024, culminating in an Eclipse Fair and Viewing Party on the McGill campus.
Astro Trivia Night: Eclipse Edition
Join us for a night of fun astronomy-themed trivia! Come test your knowledge on the mysteries of the Cosmos and on eclipses. You can come with a team of 4, or come alone and we'll help you find a team to join. Win prizes, learn stuff!
When: Wed. Feb. 28, 7:30 pm
Where: Thomson House Ballroom
Open to: all McGillians -- undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, postdocs, staff, etc. Registration is required.
Registration form: https://forms.office.com/r/7hzdVzd6rD
Public Talk: Eclipses - What are they and what are they good for?
Join us to dive into the world of eclipses with TSI professor Nic Cowan! Open to everyone, no registration required.
When: Thursday, March 14th, 7 pm
Where: McConnell Engineering, room 204
Eclipse Fair & Viewing Party: April 8, 1:00 - 4:30 pm
Join the Trottier Space Institute and the Department of Physics on the McGill campus for an Eclipse Fair and Viewing Party. There will be hands-on activities, demos, and booths for all ages to explore the science behind eclipses and other fascinating facets of solar physics. The event is free and open to the general public!
We will be providing free eclipse glasses on the day of the event so that you can view the eclipse safely! Glasses are limited to one per person and can only be picked up at the event itself. Large groups requiring multiple pairs should contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
When: April 8, 2024 | 13:00 to 16:30
Where: McGill Campus, Lower Field (to the right of the Roddick Gates) | 859 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal