Apr 8, 2024 - News

Indianapolis eclipse viewing tips

Illustration of a pair of sunglasses with eclipses for lenses.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Indianapolis takes center stage Monday as one of the best places in the nation to enjoy roughly 4 minutes of darkness.

Why it matters: The next time Indy will be in the path of totality is the year 2153, making today a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

How it works: A partial eclipse will begin in Indianapolis at 1:50pm.

  • Totality in Indianapolis will begin at 3:06pm and last for roughly 3 minutes and 50 seconds.
  • At 4:23pm, the partial eclipse will end.

Here are five tips to take your eclipse viewing experience to the next level.

Don't look at the sun: Even when partly or mostly covered by the moon, don't even think about it unless using eclipse glasses or a pinhole projector.

  • NASA says even a quick peek can do significant damage to your eyesight.

Protect your phone: If you want to take a picture, Butler University professor Brian Murphy says putting eclipse glasses in front of the camera and zooming in will dim things enough during the partial phases to get a photo.

  • "During totality … don't use the eclipse glasses at all because the sun's surface isn't visible," Murphy told WTHR. "You can zoom in (and) get the corona then. But also I would do a panorama and get the whole view of the sky to see what's visible."

Dress like it's Christmas in April: Wearing red and green will create a phenomenon called the Purkinje effect, which describes how we recognize colors in low light, according to the National Institutes of Health.

  • Warm colors like red will be less visible while green will stand out. The complementary colors should work in tandem to enhance the changes seen in saturation when looking at your surroundings.
  • Avoid wearing colors like white, black or gray.

Look down: The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says to use your hands to cast shadows on the ground during the partial eclipse stages.

  • Cross your hands with fingers slightly spread to create a waffle pattern. The spaces between your fingers project a shadow image of the sun in a crescent shape.

Take a moment: Science guy Bill Nye tells Axios to stop, listen and focus on living in the moment.

  • "When it really goes completely dark, it's just amazing. The birds chirp; the crickets cricket. There's usually a bit of a breeze because the ground gets cool and then that cold air is squeezing the warm air up and makes a little bit of a breeze," he said.
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