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10 Tips to Enjoy the 2024 Solar Eclipse in Indiana

The phases of a total solar eclipse stretch across a darkened sky, as it will appear when the sun is completely blocked by the moon.

Indiana is a prime location to view the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. With the path of totality stretching across the state, spectators from Jasper to Muncie will experience the marvel of a total solar eclipse.

Eclipse events large and small will take place across the state for locals and eclipse tourists from surrounding cities and states. Here are 10 tips to help you enjoy and celebrate this momentous cosmic phenomenon.

Deepen your solar eclipse knowledge

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking the view of the sun and casting a shadow on the Earth. Indiana residents experienced a partial solar eclipse in 2017. But this year, many Hoosiers will experience a total solar eclipse, including residents of Bloomington, Indianapolis, Spencer, Jasper, Bedford, Gosport and French Lick.

During totality, the sun will be completely blocked out. You’ll be able to see the sun’s corona, as well as stars and planets, including Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. There are various stages to observe leading up to and during totality, including sharpening shadows, shadow bands, and Baily’s Beads. Take some time to read about these stages so you’ll know what to expect.

Set the eclipse date and time on your calendar

The eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8, 2024. You can use NASA’s Eclipse Explorer map to track exact times from your location. Here’s a guide for reference:

  • Bloomington, Ellettsville, Spencer: 1:49-4:22 p.m.; totality 3:04-3:08 p.m.
  • Gosport: 1:48-4:21 p.m.; totality 3:03-3:07 p.m.
  • Jasper: 1:47-4:21 p.m.; totality 3:03-3:07 p.m.
  • Bedford: 1:48-4:22 p.m.; totality 3:04-3:08 p.m.
  • French Lick: 1:48-4:21 p.m.; totality 3:04-3:07 p.m.
  • Lizton: 1:50-4:22 p.m.; totality 3:05-3:09 p.m.
  • Griffin: 12:45-3:20 p.m.; totality 2:01-2:05 p.m.
  • Sharpsville: 1:51-4:23 p.m.; totality 3:07-3:09 p.m.

Acquire certified eclipse-viewing glasses

Looking at the sun — even when it’s partially covered — can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Protect your eyes with ISO-certified eclipse viewers or glasses.

You can find glasses at local city offices, such as the Parks and Recreation office inside Bloomington City Hall and the Visitor Center in West Baden while supplies last. If you purchase glasses, make sure they meet ISO 12312-2 standards. Visit the American Astronomical Society’s website to see their endorsed list of vendors.

The only time it is safe to look at the eclipse without glasses is during totality, but be careful! Make sure to put your glasses back on before any sunlight peeks through again.

Plan for extra travel time

An estimated 300,000 visitors are expected in Bloomington and 1 million in the Indianapolis region. Traffic delays are expected, so allow plenty of time for travel, especially to and from eclipse-viewing events. Prepare your vehicle with a full tank of gas or full charge.

Give your cell phone a break

Public Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular connections may become congested due to the influx of visitors. Livestreaming bandwidth and social media are expected to tax systems during the day, especially around 1:40 to 3:40 p.m. If cellular networks become congested, you can connect your cell phone to your home or business Wi-Fi and enable Wi-Fi calling. For more details, read our eclipse-impact FAQs.

Pack essentials for the entire day

Bring essential items with you on the day of the eclipse. Pack anything you can’t go without, including a first-aid kit, prescription medicines, water, snacks, chairs and blankets. Have cash on hand in case credit card transactions are slow or temporarily unavailable. Remember that Indiana weather can change quickly, so dress accordingly and throw some ponchos and umbrellas in the car, just in case.

Grab essential groceries before the big weekend

Don’t wait until after the crowd arrives — or departs — to get that gallon of milk and bread. If you’re an Indiana resident, plan a trip to the store earlier in the week.

Save or print a copy of your map or directions

Remember the days before smartphones when we printed maps from MapQuest or used foldable, paper maps? That might sound old-fashioned now, but printed maps can help you find your way if you can’t connect to the internet. Another option is to save an area of Google Maps for offline viewing on your phone. Remember, it’s not safe to pull to the side of the road to view the eclipse. Plan accordingly and reach your destination in plenty of time.

Attend a solar eclipse event in Indiana

There are many spectacular eclipse events in Indiana the weekend before the eclipse, as well as viewing areas to watch the eclipse, including the following:

Saturday, April 6

Sunday, April 7

Monday, April 8, and Multiday Eclipse Viewing

Bloomington
Ellettsville
Spencer
Bedford
Jasper
Paoli
Gosport
French Lick/West Baden

Enjoy the moment

Witnessing a total solar eclipse is an awe-inspiring, extraordinary experience. The last time there was a total solar eclipse in Indiana was in 1869, and the next time you can see a total solar eclipse from the United States will be in 2044. So, on April 8, whether you’re at a lively event, visiting a state park, or at home in your backyard, we hope you truly enjoy this momentous occasion.

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