Race to the Eclipse at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Don't miss this unforgettable celebration on Monday, April 8, 2024, as excitement takes over the town of Brownsburg during the Race to the Eclipse event at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. This event is being done in partnership with the Town of Brownsburg and Visit Hendricks County. View Event Schedule.
The Race to the Eclipse event shirts created by the B&O Trail Association are now available for pre-order! It is just $15 each for a soft-style, short-sleeve black t-shirt with a custom graphic design. T-shirts will be handed out at the venue on the day of the eclipse. Get Your t-Shirt here.
Camping - $25
You may purchase a $25 camping pass that allows access in the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park Campground area on Sunday, April 7th at 12:00PM. Campers will need to vacate the facility by 12:00PM on Tuesday, April 9th. Get your camping pass here.
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Time: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg
Admission: The event itself is FREE for all attendees. (5K will have a fee)
Win a Two-Night Stay!
Visit Hendricks County has partnered with the Embassy Suites Plainfield/Indianapolis Airport Hotel to give away a free two-night stay during the Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. The deadline for this giveaway is 11:59pm ET March 20, 2024. The winner will be notified shortly after.
Solar Eclipse FAQs
What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun's light and creating a temporary period of darkness on Earth. This phenomenon happens because the apparent sizes of the Moon and the Sun are almost the same when viewed from Earth, despite the vast difference in their actual sizes.
During a total solar eclipse, the Moon's shadow is cast onto the Earth's surface, creating a narrow path called the "path of totality." If you're within this path, you'll experience a complete blocking of the Sun's light, resulting in a dramatic event where the day turns into night for a short period of time. outer atmosphere, known as the solar corona, becomes visible during this time, and it appears as a faint halo of light surrounding the obscured Sun.
Outside the path of totality, observers experience a partial solar eclipse, where only a portion of the Sun is obscured by the Moon. This partial eclipse can also be a fascinating event to witness, as it creates unique lighting effects and crescent-shaped shadows.
Total solar eclipses are relatively rare events that captivate the attention of people around the world due to their awe-inspiring visual spectacle. Many cultures throughout history have attached various meanings and significance to solar eclipses, and they continue to be a subject of scientific study and public fascination.
When is the next Total Solar Eclipse?
The next Total Solar Eclipse over North America will occur on April 8, 2024.
Over 800 years have passed since Central Indiana last witnessed a total solar eclipse back in 1205, a time when Genghis Khan was strengthening his control in China. Should you fail to observe this event, you'll have to wait until 2044 for the next total solar eclipse visible from anywhere in the contiguous United States. As for Indiana, the next opportunity won't arise until 2099.Learn More About the 2024 Solar Eclipse
Where can I see the Total Solar Eclipse in April, 2024?
On April 8, 2024, the Total Solar Eclipse will follow a Path of Totality that traverses North America, stretching from the southwest to the northeast. This journey commences in Mexico and concludes in Canada.
For optimal viewing of the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse, Hendricks County, Indiana stands out as an excellent choice. All Hendricks County towns will be in the Path of Totality, promising an impressive duration of over 3 minutes of totality.View Special Events
What exactly will I see during the Total Solar Eclipse?
During a Total Solar Eclipse, you will witness a series of dramatic and awe-inspiring events as the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, temporarily blocking out the Sun's light. Here's what you can expect to see:
- Partial Phases: As the Moon begins to move in front of the Sun, you'll notice the Sun's disk gradually being covered by the Moon's silhouette. This marks the beginning of the partial phases of the eclipse. Over time, the Sun will appear as a shrinking crescent.
- Approaching Totality: As the Moon continues to move across the Sun, the sky will gradually darken. The temperature might drop, and animals might exhibit behaviors typically associated with dusk or twilight.
- Baily's Beads: Just before the Sun is completely covered, you might see a phenomenon known as Baily's beads or the "diamond ring effect." This occurs when sunlight shines through the rugged terrain of the Moon's surface, creating a series of bright spots resembling a diamond ring.
- Totality: Once the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon, you'll be in the phase of totality. The sky will turn dark as if it were nighttime, and you'll be able to see the solar corona, which is the Sun's outer atmosphere. The corona appears as a delicate, ethereal halo of light radiating outward from the Sun's blackened disk. The corona is normally not visible due to the Sun's brightness, so witnessing it during totality is a breathtaking experience.
- Prominences and Solar Flares: If you have access to specialized equipment, you might also be able to observe solar prominences or flares during totality. These are dynamic features of the Sun's surface that become visible when the Sun's bright face is hidden.
- Shadow Bands: On the ground, you might notice shadow bands, faint rippling bands of light and shadow that can appear just before and after totality. These are caused by atmospheric effects and are quite subtle.
- Diamond Ring Effect (End of Totality): As the Moon starts moving away from the Sun, the first rays of sunlight breaking through the valleys and craters on the Moon's surface create another diamond ring effect, marking the end of totality.
- Partial Phases Resume: The Moon will gradually move away from the Sun, revealing more of the Sun's disk. The reverse process of the partial phases occurs, and the sky will brighten.
It's important to note that the specific details you observe can vary based on your location, weather conditions, and the equipment you're using to view the eclipse. To safely observe a total solar eclipse, always use proper eye protection, such as certified eclipse glasses, except during the brief phase of totality when the Sun is completely covered.
How long will the Total Solar Eclipse last?
The duration of a Total Solar Eclipse can vary depending on several factors, including the specific location along the path of totality and the geometry of the Earth-Moon-Sun system during the event. On average, the duration of totality for a total solar eclipse is around a few minutes, typically ranging from about 1 to 7 minutes.
It's important to note that while the total phase of the eclipse is relatively short, the entire eclipse event, including the partial phases before and after totality, can last several hours. Observers often travel to specific locations within the path of totality to maximize their chances of experiencing the longest totality duration possible.
In Hendricks County, totality will last over 3 minutes while the entire eclipse event will span over 2 hours.
- Partial Eclipse Begins: 1:50 PM
- Full Eclipse Begins: 3:06 PM
- Total Eclipse Ends: 3:09 PM
- Partial Eclipse Ends: 4:23 PM
How do I see the full effect of the Total Solar Eclipse safely?
For a complete experience of the eclipse's effects, being situated within the Path of Totality is essential. Hendricks County, Indiana falls within this path and can anticipate witnessing over 3 minutes of totality.
Viewing a Total Solar Eclipse safely is crucial to protect your eyes from the intense brightness of the Sun. To directly observe the sun, whether during an eclipse or at other times, the use of a certified solar filter is paramount for safety. These specialized filters are obtainable in the form of eclipse glasses or rectangular eclipse viewers. It's important to note that standard sunglasses are not suitable for this purpose, as they do not provide the necessary protection.
For secure viewing, it's crucial to possess undamaged NASA-approved CE and ISO Certified viewers in order to observe the eclipse. During the phase of totality in a total solar eclipse, you can confidently remove your eyewear and gaze directly at the sun. This opportune moment occurs when the moon completely covers the sun, and it's referred to as the Path of Totality. It's important to stress that this practice is only safe while within the Path of Totality and should not be attempted during the partial eclipse phase or in the periods preceding and following full totality.
Prior to removing your glasses, ensure you are unmistakably within the totality area. Furthermore, promptly replace your glasses just before the totality phase concludes and the event transitions back to the partial eclipse stage.
Remember that eye safety is of utmost importance during any solar eclipse. Staring directly at the Sun without proper protection, even during partial phases, can cause permanent eye damage or blindness. It's important to follow reliable sources of information and guidelines to ensure a safe and memorable viewing experience.
Can I see the solar eclipse without special glasses?
No, you should never attempt to view a solar eclipse without special glasses or proper eye protection. Looking directly at the Sun, even during a solar eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage or blindness. The Sun emits intense ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation that can harm the sensitive cells in your eyes' retinas.
During a partial solar eclipse, when only a portion of the Sun is covered by the Moon, the remaining visible portion of the Sun is still incredibly bright and can cause damage to your eyes if viewed without protection. This is why certified eclipse glasses or other approved viewing methods are essential to ensure your safety.
The only time it's safe to look at the Sun during a solar eclipse is during the brief phase of totality in a total solar eclipse, when the Sun is completely covered by the Moon. During this phase, you can view the eclipse with the naked eye. However, as soon as the Sun begins to reappear, you must use proper eye protection again to avoid harming your eyes.
Always prioritize your eye safety and follow guidelines provided by reputable sources, such as astronomy organizations or government agencies, when observing any solar eclipse.
What happens after the Solar Eclipse is over?
Following the period of totality, the region will transition into a phase of partial eclipse, resembling the state leading up to totality. While individuals will be arriving for the Solar Eclipse throughout the preceding weekend, it's anticipated that a majority of attendees will opt to commence their journeys home immediately after the event concludes on Monday afternoon.
Drawing from past solar eclipse occurrences, it's prudent to anticipate congested traffic right after the eclipse finishes. This congestion stems from the simultaneous departure of tens of thousands of spectators who will be leaving central and southern Indiana. To mitigate this, we strongly recommend considering an additional night's stay, if feasible, or at the very least, postponing your departure from the area. This pause will permit some of the traffic to disperse.
Craft a plan to relish a meal at a local restaurant before embarking on your journey, or take the opportunity to explore a nearby park or attraction prior to hitting the road. This approach will not only enhance your experience but also alleviate the impact of the post-eclipse traffic rush.Request Visitor Guide