The Institute for Research on Exoplanets and its partners the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec invite you to admire the solar eclipse taking place at sunrise on the morning of June 10th 2021.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, hiding it partially or completely. In southern Canada, the eclipse will be partial, which means the Sun will not be completely hidden. In Montreal, the eclipse will have already begun at sunrise, around 5:07 am, and the maximum will be reached at 5:39 am. At that time, 79% of the Sun’s surface will be hidden by the Moon. One hour later, at 6:39 am, the eclipse will be over.
“Solar eclipses, even partial ones, are rare astronomical phenomena, as they are only visible in a limited area of the globe. It is truly an event that is worth admiring!”, explains Frédérique Baron, astrophysicist at the Université de Montréal.
The astronomical show will be most impressive in a corridor stretching from northern Ontario and Quebec to Siberia, passing through Nunavut, where the Moon’s silhouette will be placed directly on the Sun, hiding its entire centre and leaving only a ring of the Sun visible.
“This is the first time that such an eclipse – an annular eclipse – will be observed in Quebec sky’s since 1930! “adds Nathalie Ouellette, Coordinator of the iREx, and also an astrophysicist at the Université de Montréal.
The Institute and its partners are participating in several initiatives to encourage you to get up early on June 10th to enjoy this rare event!
Careful! Never observe the Sun directly, during an eclipse or at any other time. Even partially eclipsed, the Sun is still a serious danger to your eye’s retina.
“To observe the Sun safely you must use a solar filter that allows only a tiny fraction of the light to pass through, in accordance with the standard [ISO 12312-2: 2015], or observe the show indirectly, using a projection mechanism. “explains Frédérique Baron.
In Montreal, more than 4,000 solar filters will be distributed free of charge thanks to a joint initiative of the iREx, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Space for Life, the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec, the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and the Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal.
To obtain an information card with a detachable filter that allows you to look at the Sun safely, you can also go to the Bibliothèque des sciences at the campus MIL’s Complexe des sciences, at the Bibliothèque de mathématiques et informatique in the André-Aisenstadt Building, or to your local Montreal library. Most of them will be distributing the filters starting June 1st. Hurry! Quantities are limited!
Even without a solar filter, it is possible to observe the eclipse by watching a projection of the Sun, which can be created very easily. The Eclipse Challenge, launched by Discover the Universe, in partnership with iREx, encourages you to create your own projection system to safely follow the eclipse.
“One might think it’s complicated to create a projection system to observe a solar eclipse safely, but it’s not! ” Marie-Eve Naud, astrophysicist at Université de Montréal and Project Manager for Discover the Universe, explains. “We can make one in less than a minute with two sheets of paper and a sharp object like a pencil, use a colander or a hollowed-out utensil, or even without any material at all, using our hands! “.
Two iREx summer interns, Sarah Thiele and Maude Larivière, have created short video clips on our YouTube Channel (in English and French) to show you how to build an observation tube. Warning! The holes in a small tube must be really small to create a sharp image! Try using a pin!
On the day of the observation, go – ideally before sunrise! – to a spot where the horizon is clear in the East-North-East direction. To guide your observations, a special episode of Les Astrophysiciennes podcast will be online early in the morning of June 10th.
On the morning of June 10th, grab your solar filter or projection device, listen to Les Astrophysiciennes, and come out to see the eclipse!
Marie-Eve Naud, astrophysicist
Scientific Coordinator for Education and Outreach
Institute for Research on Exoplanets, Université de Montréal
Discover the Universe