On Thursday, June 10, 2021, you’ll be able to see an eclipse of the sun if you’re up early enough! Right from daybreak, it will seem as though part of the sun has disappeared from the sky, eclipsed by the moon. While this event will be visible throughout Québec, the actual annular eclipse corridor will extend only across the northern part of the province. For observers in the corridor, the entire moon will pass in front of the sun and will mask it almost entirely (89%), temporarily transforming the solar disk into what looks like a ring of fire around the moon. For viewers in Montréal, the moon will hide only part of the sun. There, from any place where you can get a clear view of the east-northeast horizon, a partial eclipse will be visible, weather permitting, between 5:07 (sunrise) and 6:39 a.m., reaching a maximum at 5:39 (78.9%). For the occasion, curious amateur astronomers will be able to meet with members of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan team from 5 to 6:40 a.m. on the walkway of the Parc olympique, just above the intersection of Aird and Pierre-De Coubertin streets. Places are limited; free mandatory registration on Eventbrite.
The Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan wants to remind you that you should never look directly at the sun without using a special filter designed to protect your eyes. To encourage safe viewing of the eclipse, fact sheets with a detachable filter are distributed for free through the Montréal library network starting today. You can also get a pair of safe viewing glasses for free from the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. So, early on June 10, get out and skywatch safely!
Safe viewing filters distributed through Montréal library network
Fact sheets with a detachable safe viewing filter are distributed for free through Ville de Montréal libraries (quantities limited, one fact sheet per family). Through this joint initiative of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan, the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM), the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), the Centre for Research in Astrophysics (CRAQ) and the Société d’astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal, the general public will have an opportunity to safely observe this noteworthy astronomical event on June 10.
A rare occurrence!
For people living in a corridor extending from northern Ontario and Québec over to Siberia, the moon will appear completely silhouetted by the sun. The moon will then be too far along on its elliptical orbit to hide the solar disk completely and so a solar ring will be visible around it. This phenomenon is called an “annular solar eclipse” and will be observable in the sky above Québec for the first time since 1930!
The exact time of the eclipse, how long it lasts and the percentage of the sun’s surface the moon obscures depend on the geographic coordinates of the observer’s location. For viewers in and around the St. Lawrence Valley, approximately 79% of the sun’s surface will be obscured at the maximum eclipse point, while this percentage will reach 89% for observers in the annular eclipse corridor in northern Québec.
Some tips for viewing the eclipse on June 10, 2021
- Protect your eyes : Use a safe viewing filter or glasses. Filters are distributed for free through the Ville de Montréal library network and viewing glasses are available for free at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. You can also make an eclipse observation box yourself in advance by following the instructions provided by Espace pour la vie.
- Find out the exact time the sun will be rising in your area.
- Schedule for Montréal:
- 5:07 a.m.: Sunrise (eclipse already underway)
- 5:39 a.m.: Maximum partial eclipse (79%)
- 6:39 a.m.: End of eclipse
- Find a place where you can get a clear view of the east-northeast horizon.
- Here are further details about the solar eclipse of June 10, 2021.
And remember: the early bird catches the worm!
Observation of the solar eclipse
On June 10, meet with members of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan team from 5 to 6:40 a.m. on the walkway of the Parc olympique, just above the intersection of Aird and Pierre-De Coubertin streets. Places are limited. Free reservation is mandatory on Eventbrite. Wearing a mask is mandatory. Safe viewing glasses with solar filters will be distributed to participants
You should never look directly at the sun except through a filter that meets standard ISO 12312-2:2015. Even during a partial eclipse, the sun’s rays can still cause serious damage to the retina of your eye.
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About Espace pour la vie
Espace pour la vie is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphere, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.