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What you need to know about the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Indiana

Eclipse chasers flock to remote Australian town to view 'Ring of Fire'
Posted at 8:51 AM, Mar 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 16:47:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A natural phenomenon in which only a select number of people have seen in human history is set to take place in Indiana on April 8, 2024.

The sun, which is 98 million miles away will be blacked out as the moon passes in front of it in its entirety.

For approximately four minutes, cities and towns across the path of totality will experience a total solar eclipse, which has not happened in Indiana since 1869.

What do you need to know?

Timing The Eclipse

For the most part, the eclipse will take place between 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., but the duration of totality (2-4 minutes) will be important to know as before it happens.

In the Circle City, the Holcomb Observatory at Butler University says the totality of the eclipse will be viewable in Indianapolis from 3:06:11 until 3:09:52 p.m — giving people viewing from countless area in the city just three minutes and 41 seconds of once-in-a-lifetime viewing.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse from just north of Indy will want to be in Fishers during the totality for the longest duration.

Starting at approximately 3:06 p.m., Fishers will have three minutes and 38 seconds of totality — almost 10 seconds more than anyone other Hamilton County community.

As Bloomington prepares for more than 300,000 visitors during the solar eclipse, the home of Indiana University is in the heart of the totality zone as they will experience the longest dark period in the WRTV viewing area at over four minutes. Bloomington will be in totality starting at 3:04 p.m. and ending at 3:08 p.m. eastern time.

In Muncie, where Ball State will has big plans, will be in totality of the solar eclipse from 3:07 - 3:11 p.m.

For more in-depth timing info, check out NASA's interactive Eclipse Explorer map, which allows users to find out exactly when the eclipse will occur depending on what location they search.

Where to watch

Do you know where you will be? We suggest planning ahead and choosing from one of the many celebrations and viewing opportunities available across the state

Ruoff Music Center will host the Total Eclipse Tailgate.

Activities include live entertainment, Inflatables, NASA Expert Speech, a beer garden and food trucks.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting a viewing party as well. General admission ticket to the track are $15 and come with gate admission, infield parking and a limited edition pair of solar eclipse glasses.

Grand Park in Westfield will host Solar Eclipse festivities at their sports campus from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Attendees can enjoy food and drinks from food trucks, a concert with the 1985 Band, attractions and inflatables, and total darkness from the eclipse.

Butler's Holcomb Observatory will hold a free Eclipse Festival on April 8 from noon - 4 p.m.

The observatory greenspaces and telescopes are open throughout the year for free.

Ten-time Grammy Award nominee Janelle Monae will headline the show at Memorial Stadium at IU on the day of the eclipse. She is scheduled to hit the stage immediately following the eclipse at 3:04 p.m.

Also scheduled to appear are actor William Shatner, an Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner best known for his role as Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” and Dr. Mae Jemison.

Shatner will deliver a spoken-word performance before the total eclipse of the sun.

Conner Prairie will host an event featuring Hoosier astronaut Mark Brown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the eclipse.

There are hundreds of events happening around the state. To learn about possibilities in your town or city, Visit Indiana has a comprehensive map.

Eclipse Safety

Looking directly at the sun is not safe on the naked eye — we all know this. Nothing is different in viewing the solar eclipse.

It is important to find safe solar eclipse viewing glasses to watch the event.

AVOID SCAMS | Beware of bogus eclipse glasses for sale

The American Astronomical Society issued a warning recently that says some sellers are making misleading claims about their products.

You can find deals on eclipse glasses on social media, Amazon, eBay, Etsy and other websites.

The glasses need to comply with the International Organization for Standardization Requirement ISO 12312-2.

The best way to protect yourself is to buy glasses through a list of vendors on the AAS website, which assures you the glasses have been tested and meet all the requirements.

Remember, DO NOT look directly at the sun during the solar eclipse as you could damage your retinas.

Getting Around

What happens when you add tens of thousands of travelers into any one areas? Traffic.

As central Indiana braces for thousands of visitors, the Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police are warning Hoosiers about the astronomical traffic expected on April 8.

Both agencies have made precautions to deal with the likely standstill traffic across the state before and after the eclipse.

"We have decided that there will be no construction that day in our East Central district, so we're going to remove our crews from the roads," said Kyleigh Cramer of INDOT.

"For ISP, it's all hands on deck," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine. "We've canceled all days off for that day and every trooper in the state will be working on April 8."

Both agencies say drivers should take much more time than they expect while driving to their eclipse viewing spot, despite an instinct to treat it like a normal commute.

Is my kid's school closed?

As the 2024 total solar eclipse continues to draw closer, many central Indiana schools are planning to allow students the chance to be outside for the once in a lifetime event.

We have compiled an entire list of schools in the WRTV viewing area that have made alternate plans to their school day on April 8.

READ MORE: Solar eclipse school closures in central Indiana