On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will grace the skies of central Indiana, offering stargazers and curious minds an unforgettable experience. If you’re planning to travel to the greater Indianapolis metro area to witness this celestial event, here’s what you need to know.

What to Expect: What’s a Solar Eclipse, Anyway?

A solar eclipse occurs when humankind’s three most-important celestial bodies are in alignment, as seen from our planet’s surface. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, casting a shadow on Earth and momentarily turning day into night.

In central Indiana, we’ll be treated to approximately four minutes of totality—a rare and awe-inspiring sight. During these fleeting minutes, you’ll notice a dramatic drop in temperature (usually 5-10 degrees), and the sky will take on an eerie twilight. Birds may quiet and head home to their nests, and nocturnal animals might begin to stir, confused by the sudden darkness.

And, who knows, maybe this will happen, too:

Where Is the Best Place to See the 2024 Eclipse in Indiana?

Indianapolis offers plenty of prime viewing locations for the eclipse. Some of the best spots include:

  1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Purdue University and IMS are joining forces for an exciting day filled with programming and festivities, featuring Purdue experts, alumni, students, and more. Positioned perfectly within the path of totality, IMS is one of three primary partner locations where NASA will host a live broadcast of its eclipse coverage.
  2. Garfield Park: Located on the south side of the city, Garfield Park offers ample green space and a historic conservatory, perfect for those looking to combine eclipse watching with a bit of exploration.
  3. Indiana State Fairgrounds: The expansive fairgrounds provide an excellent vantage point for the eclipse, with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the experience with family and friends.
  4. Eagle Creek Park: This massive park on the northwest side of Indianapolis boasts wide-open spaces and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal place to set up camp and enjoy the eclipse.
  5. Newfields: The beautiful gardens and grounds of this renowned art museum provide a picturesque setting for eclipse viewing. Pack a picnic and make a day of it!

Remember to come prepared with proper eye protection, such as certified eclipse-viewing glasses or a pinhole projector, to safely view the eclipse. Except for the few brief minutes when the Moon completely obscures the Sun, you should not look at the Sun during this event without eclipse-viewing glasses.

Indiana: The 2024 Solar Eclipse Path

2024 Solar Eclipse Map—Indiana: Indianapolis, Evansville, Bloomington, Terre Haute, and Muncie are all within the fairly narrow path of totality, making them ideal viewing spots for this total eclipse.

What to Do Before or After the Eclipse

Once the eclipse has passed, and the sun returns to its full glory, you might be wondering what to do next. Or maybe you’re planning to arrive in the Circle City the weekend before the eclipse. Luckily, central Indiana has no shortage of attractions to keep you entertained

  1. Explore the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: This world-renowned museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences that will delight visitors of all ages.
  2. Visit the Indianapolis Zoo: Home to over 1,400 animals from around the globe, the Indianapolis Zoo is a must-see for animal lovers and families.
  3. Take a stroll along the Central Canal: This beautiful waterway runs through the heart of the city, offering a peaceful escape and a chance to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
  4. Discover the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields: With an extensive collection spanning 5,000 years of human creativity, this museum is a true gem.
  5. Listen to one of more of Rare Bird’s eclipse-themed playlists on Spotify.

What If It’s Cloudy on the Day of the Eclipse?

While we all hope for clear skies on April 8, Mother Nature can be unpredictable. If clouds threaten to obscure your view, don’t despair! Many local venues, such as the Indiana State Museum and the Holcomb Observatory at Butler University, will likely host eclipse-related events and live streams, allowing you to experience the magic of the eclipse indoors.

And if the clouds do get you down, try making Rare Bird’s custom cocktail, which we’re calling Partially Phased. It has moonshine!

Solar Eclipse 2024: Indiana’s Time of Totality

One question frantically asked online lately is, “What time is the 2024 solar eclipse in Indiana?” Of course, that depends where you are in Indiana. If you’re in the Greater Indianapolis metro area like us, you can expect the eclipse’s partial phase to begin around 1:50 p.m., with the full totality beginning at 3:06 p.m. and lasting for nearly 4 minutes.

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024. This map contains the names of major cities inside the path of totality. Visible across North America, the totality will pass across parts of Mexico, United States, and Canada.