Experts: Total Solar Eclipse | April 8, 2024 

Published: 18 March 2024

On April 8, 2024, a spectacular and rare celestial event is set to unfold over Canada, the United States and Mexico – a total solar eclipse. As the Moon aligns perfectly between Earth and the Sun, temporary darkness will sweep across parts of the country, captivating countless spectators. Quebec hasn't witnessed a total solar eclipse in over 50 years, and it will be over 80 years before the next one. (Government of Canada

To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, the Trottier Space Institute and McGill’s Department of Physics will host an Eclipse Fair and Viewing Party on campus on April 8. Special observation events will also be held at the Macdonald Campus and The Gault Nature Reserve. 

Here are some experts from McGill University who can provide comment on this topic: 

Nicolas Cowan, Associate Professor, Departments of Physics and Earth & Planetary Sciences 

“Seeing a total solar eclipse with your own eyes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; don’t miss it! In addition to being deeply beautiful, these rare astronomical treats have also provided important scientific insights, including the nature of space- time and the climates of exoplanets.” 

Nicolas Cowan is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physics and Earth & Planetary Sciences, and the Canada Research Chair in Planetary Climate. He studies the atmospheres and surfaces of exoplanets using telescopes on mountaintops and in space. 

nicolas.cowan [at] (English, French) 

Tracy Webb, Associate Professor, Department of Physics  

“The solar eclipse on April 8, when the Moon blocks the light of the Sun, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness (with protective glasses!) an astronomical event in real-time. The fact that we can predict such an event ahead of time with incredible accuracy is a reminder of how far we have come in our understanding of the universe. It is also a chance to experience a unique moment of natural wonder with a community of enthusiastic observers in Montreal.” 

Tracy Webb is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and the Trottier Space Institute. She specializes in multi-wavelength observational studies of galaxy formation and evolution.  

tracy.webb [at] (English) 


Back to top