La Grande conférence 2023-2024 – Solar Eclipses

La Grande conférence 2023-2024 – Solar Eclipses

What is a solar eclipse and why is it such a fascinating phenomenon? What secrets do eclipses reveal about our star, the Sun, and the Universe in general? 

Join us for “Solar eclipses: from Babylon to the space age“, our 2024 edition of the Grande conférence de l’iREx, which will take place on March 27, 2024 at 7 p.m., and learn more about this unique phenomenon. The lecture is presented ***in French*** by Paul Charbonneau, an expert in solar physics and professor in the physics department at Université de Montréal.

This free event will take place at the campus MIL of the Université de Montréal (free admission), and will be broadcast online, on Facebook and YouTube.

Great news! Free, safe eclipse glasses will be distributed to all conference attendees!

d’éclipse sécuritaires et gratuites ser

The iREx’s public talks are intended for anyone interested in astronomy and exoplanets, and require no prior knowledge of science or astronomy. Invite your family and friends and share the Facebook event !

Before and after the conference, our Eclipse ambassadors will be present to explain why the eclipse of April 8, 2024 is considered the “astronomical event of a lifetime” for residents of Montreal and southeastern Quebec, and how to observe the phenomenon safely.


Observed with fascination — and sometimes dread — since the dawn of humankind, solar eclipses are still highly prized. Beyond the purely aesthetic experience, eclipses offer a unique opportunity to observe the Sun’s lower corona, where most of the eruptive phenomena important to space weather originate. The solar corona, visible during total eclipses such as the one scheduled for April 8, 2024, is the tenuous, very hot and, in places, highly magnetized component of the Sun’s atmosphere, from which the solar wind that blows into the Earth’s orbit originates.

In this talk, I’ll begin with a historical overview of solar eclipse observation, from the Babylonian civilization to the present day, and describe the many scientific advances that have resulted over the centuries. I’ll then describe some of the major unsolved physical questions that continue to motivate observation of our star, whether from the ground or from space, using increasingly sophisticated instruments.

Our Speaker

Paul Charbonneau has been a full professor in the département de physique at Université de Montréal since 2002, after 12 years as a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Trained as an astrophysicist and a world authority on solar physics, his research focuses on solar activity and sun-earth interactions, astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics, and the emergence of complexity in natural systems; which in no way diminishes the wonder he feels every time he witnesses a solar eclipse.

To attend the talk

Meet at the Science Complex of the Université de Montréal’s MIL campus (1375 Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux Avenue, Montréal, QC, H2V 0B3), entrance A, amphitheatre A.3502.1 (3rd floor). Admission is free, but seating is limited. Come early! The talk will begin at 7.00 pm.

The conference will also be broadcast online on Facebook and our YouTube channel. No registration is required. Simply visit our social media channels.