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Rare Total Solar Eclipse to Grace Southern Quebec Skies on April 8



Rare Total Solar Eclipse To Grace Southern Quebec Skies On April 8

Astronomy enthusiasts and sky gazers in southern Quebec are gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event set to unfold on the afternoon of Monday, April 8. A total solar eclipse, a phenomenon that will captivate a portion of the population spanning from the Pacific Ocean through Mexico, the United States, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, will be visible during this remarkable event.

Depending on one’s location in the southern region of Quebec, the eclipse will be observable between 2:14 PM and 4:40 PM, with the peak of totality expected around 3:25 – 3:30 PM according to reports from Eclipse Quebec. The Côte-Nord region, particularly in Sept-Îles, will witness a partial eclipse reaching 90.48%. The eclipse is slated to commence at 2:25 PM, reach its climax around 3:34 PM, and culminate by approximately 4:39 PM.

The upcoming event holds significant astronomical rarity, with the last total solar eclipse visible in southern Quebec traced back to the year 1972 in Gaspésie. This awe-inspiring phenomenon is indeed a scarce occurrence. Marie-Georges Bélanger from ASTROLab at Mont-Mégantic National Park in Estrie emphasized the uniqueness of this event, echoing that the last total solar eclipse observed in the Montreal area dates back to 1932.

In a dialogue with Quebec Science, Olivier Hernandez, the director of Montreal’s Planétarium, revealed that the next total solar eclipse in the region is not projected until the year 2205, underscoring the necessity to witness this one-of-a-kind spectacle. While there may be future lunar eclipses or other eclipse variations, the specifics of this event will not be replicated in our region for quite some time.

Eclipse occurrences are fairly predictable due to experts’ understanding of our solar system’s mechanics, with an average of two to seven eclipses taking place each year as per information from Eclipse Quebec. If weather conditions cooperate on April 8, spectators will witness the Moon traveling between the Sun and Earth, necessitating a unique alignment of the three celestial bodies for the eclipse to happen.

There are two types of eclipses, partial and total, with individuals in proximity to the designated area’s alignment poised to witness a partial eclipse where the Moon minimally obstructs the Sun. However, for those precisely located within the targeted section, the Moon will appear identical in size to the Sun, completely concealing its presence, offering a truly exceptional viewing experience.

Given the significance of this event, it is crucial to exercise caution and avoid viewing the total solar eclipse on April 8 without proper eye protection. Adequate eclipse glasses, of limited availability, are imperative for safe observation. Additionally, a reminder to refrain from capturing photos or videos during the event was emphasized by experts to ensure the moment is fully experienced without the risk of damaging equipment. Numerous entities, including ASTROLab, will be documenting the eclipse for those who wish to relive the experience.

For those unable to secure a spot at Mont-Mégantic, various locations are hosting activities in connection with the total solar eclipse. ASTROLab will also be live-streaming the event on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. To explore where and further delve into the phenomenon, visit the Éclipse Québec website for more information.

Rachel Adams

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