Eclipse 2024

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 for another 200 years), 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.