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Saturday, April 20, 2024

182 Seconds of Darkness

Compared to the 2017 solar eclipse, this year’s event ups the ante

A shadow is cast over Evansville. Astronomers are visiting town, speaking at gatherings of attentive listeners. Baristas pour moon-themed lattes. “Don’t forget your eclipse glasses!” is becoming a common refrain.

We’re not just talking about the total solar eclipse passing over Evansville on April 8. Eclipse fever was high on Aug. 21, 2017. As described in Evansville Living’s July/August 2017 cover story, the River City went all out, despite not being at 100 percent totality.

This time around, Evansville is an eclipse destination. The city is positioned squarely in the path of totality for three minutes and two seconds, besting 2017’s time of 160 seconds of darkness. Excitement is palpable, with good reason: According to Ball State University’s planetarium, Aug. 7, 1869, was the last time a total solar eclipse was visible in Indiana.

Evansville is capitalizing on its position in the path of totality by welcoming enthusiasts, including many who ventured to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 2017. Instead of taking tour groups out of town, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science will host them. Weekend-long festivities are spread throughout the region. Several blocks of Riverside Drive are shutting down for folks to watch the eclipse. Anticipating heavy traffic, school is called off for the day. It seems everyone — resident and visitor alike — has again caught eclipse fever.

“It’s more than just a scientific oddity. It truly is one of nature’s wonders,” Mitch Luman, then-director of science experiences at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, told Evansville Living in 2017. “It is one of those events of awe that just doesn’t come around very often.”

How special, then, that our region gets to enjoy two within 10 years. So, stake out your viewing spot, don your safety glasses, and enjoy Evansville’s 182 seconds of darkness.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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