TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On April 8, 2024, Terre Haute will be in the line of totality for a Solar Eclipse. According to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, the last total solar eclipse in Indiana was 819 years ago.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon’s shadow is cast upon the Earth. There are two parts to this  shadow – an outer shadow that covers a wide region creating a partial eclipse, and a much smaller central shadow that creates the total eclipse. As the Earth rotates, the central shadow creates a thin path known as the path of totality. Terre Haute is located within the path of totality, meaning our community along with visitors will experience nature’s most amazing spectacle – a total eclipse of the Sun!

Terre Haute Children’s Museum Release

Residents may remember that in 2017, a partial solar eclipse occurred and was visible in the Wabash Valley, but according to the museum that 1% of coverage can make a big difference to those viewing the eclipse.

This 2024 event will be totally different.  99% coverage is not the same as 100%. According to the American Astronomical Society, the Sun’s corona, a crown of light surrounding the sun, is always there, but we usually can’t see it because the sun’s bright light drowns it out. When the Moon covers the Sun, the corona is definitely the main attraction. It is sculpted into streamers and loops by the Sun’s powerful magnetic field and shines with a light seen nowhere else. It is hauntingly beautiful and, without doubt, one of the most awesome sights in all of nature, but there’s so much more to the experience.  At the beginning and end of totality, the thin middle layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, the chromosphere, blazes in an arc of ruby red. The sky darkens to a deep twilight blue, with yellow, orange, and pink sunrise/sunset colors on the horizon in all directions. Bright stars and planets shine forth, and the air temperature drops noticeably. Birds and farm animals, thinking dusk has settled, return to their nests and barns, and bats come out to feed.  It is an experience that should not be missed. It is an event that will happen whether or not we prepare for it. So individuals, businesses, educational organizations, and the community should put this on their calendars and plan to view this rare and phenomenal event. 

Community members and organizations are already planning for the event. Museum officials say that residents should note the location of the sun Friday at around 3 p.m. to know about where the eclipse will be seen in the future.

For more information visit the Eclipse 2024 page of Terrehaute.com.