An astronomy-themed day on MIL Campus – 11 August 2018

To celebrate 40 years of astronomy at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, a very special theme day titled “Un oeil québécois sur l’Univers” (Quebec Looks at the Universe) will be held on the MIL Campus of Université de Montréal, on August 11, 2018. This event is a unique occasion to bring together professional astronomers and amateurs of astronomy. There will be astronomy-themed activities for children, conferences and a stargazing party!

The 2017 edition. Credit : Maryse Boyce.


Astronomical makeup. Credit : Maryse Boyce.

Time travel (3-6 p.m.)

To collect all the stickers to fill out their very own sky map, participants will be invited to go on a treasure hunt for astronomical images taken at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, make a “Constellarium”, watch a demonstration on infrared astronomy and draw a telescope. They willl also get to learn more about some outstanding scientists (with the diversity committee of the physics department D-PHY), about the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and about NASA’s amazing upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. Kiosk will also be held by a film maker at Espace pour la vie – Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan and one counsellor from the Cosmodôme.  It will also be possible to look at the greatest star, our Sun, with telescopes thanks to the amateur astronomers of the Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal. Kids will be able to participate in workshops with Folie Technique and Cirkazou. And don’t forget to get your astronomical makeup and try some fabulous “space” ice cream!

Space 5@7 

People relax between activities. Credit : Maryse Boyce.

Another good reason to come to the event before 5 p.m. is to have a drink and eat while discussing the Big Bang, exoplanets and meteorites with l’Université de Montréal’s astronomers. A food truck and a caterer will be onsite.

Constellation Conferences and Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, live (7-9 p.m.)

The scientists who made their mark on the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and astronomy in Quebec are featured in this great constellation of conferences.

  • René Racine,Université de Montréal emeritus professor and one of the founders of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, is an outstanding designer of astronomical instruments. The first asteroid discovered in Quebec has the name Reneracine in his honour.
  • Lison Malo, astronomer at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and researcher at iREx, recently worked as a resident astronomer at the prestigious Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, building on the unique experiences she had during her studies at Observatoire.
  • René Doyon, professor at l’Université de Montréal, director of iREx and current director of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic, developed many great infrared instruments for the Observatoire as well as for some of the best observatories in the world, both on ground and in space.

Then, the guides at the ASTROLab du Parc national du Mont-Mégantic invite everybody to join them on a virtual tour of the observatory with them.

Observation of the stars and music in the gardens (9-11 p.m.)

A string quartet of l’Université de Montreal AME will play classical music while we watch the stars and the Perseid meteor shower, in association with amateur astronomers of the Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal.

During the event, participation and door prizes will be offered, in collaboration with Éditions MultiMondes.

The Virage – MIL Campus is located in Outremont at 6700 Durocher Ave. The closest metro station is Parc, on the blue line. From there, the site is a 10-15 minutes’ walk, or a short bus ride (take the 80 south, and exit at du Parc / No 6590).

PLEASE NOTE: The site is a vacant lot near the new MIL Campus construction site. It is often very windy and the ground is rocky. Wear the right shoes and clothes. There are portable toilets on site, and it’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle. You can also bring chairs and floor mattresses to observe the stars in the evening.

In case of rain, the event will take place under the tents!

More information:

Marie-Eve Naud
Scientific and EPO Coordinator
Institute for research on exoplanets (iREx)
Université de Montréal

Sara Maranda-Gauvin
Projets éphémères du campus MIL
514 813-7785

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Facebook page
Press release on the MIL Campus’s website (coming soon!)
Poster (PDF)

An event organized by iREx – Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes, the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec, the Département de physique de l’Université de Montréal and the Campus MIL – Université de Montréal, in collaboration with the Observatoire du Mont-MéganticFolie TechniqueEspace pour la vie – Planétarium Rio Tinto AlcanSAPM – Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de MontréalCosmodômeÉditions MultiMondes, ASTROLab du parc national du Mont-Mégantic and Comité diversité physique (D-PHY).