Today is finally the day that teachers, researchers and science nuts have been awaiting.
With hopefully clear skies, today you should be able to see about 90 percent of the sun blocked by the moon during a solar eclipse. The event is historic, since the last time the U.S. was in the path of a total eclipse was decades ago. But, if you happen to miss this one, the Indianapolis area is in the path of a total eclipse in 2024.
Here is what you need to know if you plan to try to snag a glimpse of the big show in the sky:
Story continues below gallery
The full eclipse is expected at 2:25 p.m. Monday. It will begin at 12:57 p.m. and end at 3:48 p.m.
Businesses, libraries and other organizations have reported quickly running out of glasses they were giving away. Some still are available for sale, though they may be hard to find.
And if you do find some, make sure they are legitimate, since plenty of fakes are circulating. According to the American Astronomical Society, a real and safe pair of solar eclipse glasses should be labeled with ISO 12312-2, an international safety standard. Visit their website for details on reputable vendors of the glasses at aas.org/.
Western Kentucky is expected to be a hot spot for eclipse viewers, since the moon’s full eclipse of the sun can be viewed within a 70-mile-wide area, including Hopkinsville, Paducah and Madison. Interstate 69, U.S. 41, and U.S. 231 are all expected to have heavy traffic with people heading to and from their eclipse spots.
Interstate 65 will also have increased traffic going to and from total eclipse viewing points that begin at Bowling Green, Kentucky and extend beyond Nashville. Areas across Indiana also are expected to be busier since viewers can see nearly the full eclipse. For example, Evansville is set for a partial eclipse of 99 percent and Jeffersonville will see 96 percent.
Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police officials are urging motorists to plan for potential traffic congestion, since about 200 million people live within a day’s drive of the total eclipse path and will be heading to Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Illinois.
Police are warning motorists not to stop driving or to take pictures during the eclipse and not to wear their eclipse glasses while driving.
They do recommend drivers turn on their headlights during the eclipse, especially during the peak time.
Most schools are planning to broadcast the live video feed of the eclipse from NASA, but some are allowing students outside if they have the proper protective glasses and permission from their parents. Franklin schools will be on a one-hour delay to avoid having students getting on and off buses during the peak of the eclipse.
Johnson County Public Library branches will be hosting a series of viewing parties on Monday to help people celebrate the eclipse. All events are free and open to the public.
White River branch, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood
12:30 to 4 p.m.
Learn about the eclipse and observe it with special eclipse-watching glasses (while supplies last) as it occurs from 1-3:50 pm. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and a hat. In the case of bad weather, a live feed of the eclipse will be broadcasted inside. The library will also have crafts and activities for kids, materials to make pinhole viewers, word puzzles for teens/adults, light refreshments and an astronaut photo booth.
Trafalgar branch, 424 Tower St., Trafalgar
12 to 4 p.m.
Drop in to the library for a come-and-go eclipse program, including a craft and provide information about how to safely view the eclipse. A limited number of eclipse viewing glasses and viewing boxes will be available to share. Watch the NASA TV live stream in the community room, check out books and other eclipse materials.
Library Services Center, 49 E. Monroe St., Franklin
2 to 3 p.m.
Library officials are planning an event for downtown Franklin businesses on the front lawn, with 20-25 pairs of eclipse glasses for everyone to share and a livestream available to watch on the front porch.
Clark Pleasant branch, 530 Tracy Road, Suite 250, New Whiteland
2 to 3 p.m.
The library is providing eclipse safe-glasses, along with crafts and stories while you wait for the main event in a program geared for younger children.
Franklin branch, 401 State St., Franklin
2 to 4 p.m
Franklin will have a viewing event in the field south of the branch with 25 glasses for the public to share. Popcorn and lemonade will be provided. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket.
For the children
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St., will be giving away eclipse glasses and have scientists available to answer questions and help people understand the eclipse. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and programming is part of the regular admission to the museum. For more information, go to childrensmuseum.org
The Indianapolis Zoo is encouraging people to watch animals around them and record their reactions to the eclipse. You can add your observations by visiting inaturalist.org/projects/indianapolis-zoo-eclipse-experience-animal-observations
Share your eclipse-viewing experience with us.
Send us photos of you and your co-workers, family and friends viewing the solar eclipse on Monday afternoon, and add to it your observations about shadows, animals and anything else that gets your attention. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org