Published on Apr 4, 2023
by Tourism Eastern Townships
Sherbrooke, April 4, 2023 – A total eclipse of the sun is just over a year away, but Tourism Eastern Townships (TCE) and other leading organizations are already gearing up for this spectacular, celestial phenomenon, which will take place on Monday, April 8, 2024.
On that day, in the skies above Quebec, the Moon will start sliding across the Sun at around 2:15pm. In the area between Granby and Lac Megantic, from 3:26pm to 3:32pm, the Moon will block out the Sun entirely. The eclipse will take place right above this region of the province, allowing residents and visitors alike to witness this rare, cosmic event in all its glory!
Source: eclipsequebec.ca website. Data: Natural Earth. Xavier Jubier. Design: Guillaume Poulin I ASTROLab du Mont-Mégantic.
The period of the total eclipse will last between a few dozen seconds and 3 minutes and 30 seconds, depending on the trajectory of the Sun and the Moon. At each edge of the total eclipse area, the blackout will be only partial. Spectators will, however, be able to experience a number of extraordinary phenomena – the gradual spread of dusk across the sky and the sudden appearance of stars and the solar corona, visible as a bright halo around the Sun. (The solar corona is the outermost region of the solar atmosphere.)
“The total solar eclipse will certainly generate widespread media interest and draw visitors to the Eastern Townships from around the world,” says Dany Gareau, Director of Mont-Megantic National Park. “This is probably one of the few times in history that a total solar eclipse will occur directly above a famous astronomical observatory and within an International Dark Sky Reserve!”
The International Dark Sky Reserve, which covers 5,300 square km around Mont-Megantic, was the first such designated area in the world (2007).
“We’re going to witness this cosmic phenomenon only once in our lifetime,” explains Hugues Grimard, Chair of the Board of Directors of La table des MRC de l'Estrie. “As a region, we need to start planning and promoting this extraordinary event and work together to ensure that visitors from here and elsewhere can safely observe this eclipse.”
The Université de Sherbrooke (UdS) and Bishop's University have already confirmed that they will provide areas on their campuses where students, faculty and others can gather. The MRCs (regional county municipalities) of Granit, Coaticook and Memphremagog have also confirmed that they will provide viewing areas. (Other observation venues have yet to be established.) The Club des astronomes amateurs. a group of amateur astronomers in Sherbrooke, will be organizing outreach activities for its members and the general public.
“This event happens to fall on a Monday, so we anticipate a lot of people will extend their stay into a long weekend,” says Annie Langevin, General Manager of Tourism Eastern Townships. “We’re working with our tourism businesses to make sure that we’re good and ready for this influx of visitors.”
Regular communications will be published throughout this year, to make people aware of this unique astronomical phenomenon with details on how and where they can safely observe it, along with information about upcoming activities. Some information is already available on the eclipsequebec.ca website, which will be updated as needed.
About Tourism Eastern Townships
Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est (Tourism Eastern Townships) is one of 22 tourism associations (ATRs) in Quebec and the official representative of Quebec's Ministry of Tourism in the Eastern Townships. Since 1978, the TCE’s mission has been to promote tourism development, marketing the region within Quebec and internationally. TCE brings together more than 500 members throughout the 9 regional county municipalities (MRCs) and in all sectors of the tourism industry: accommodation, restaurants, attractions, activities and events.The Eastern Townships is the fourth most popular tourist destination in Quebec. The region attracts some 10 million visitors every year, accounting for 6.5 million overnight stays and spending more than $900 million annually. The tourism sector is also the region’s fourth largest employer, accounting for 20,000 jobs.
Shanny Hallé – Media Relations Coordinator
Tourism Eastern Townships
Scientific information – Interview requests :
Sébastien Giguère, Scientific Coordinator Parc national du Mont-Mégantic / ASTROLab