The 2024 Eclipse: What You Need to Know

Written on 04/01/2024
Patrick Munsey

Local viewing events, precautions to take, and what to expect

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It is almost here. The 2024 Eclipse arrives in Howard County on Mon., April 8. For less than one minute, people in southern half of Kokomo will see totality – a complete eclipse of the sun by the moon. Greentown will see a little more. Russiaville, sadly, will see only a partial eclipse.

The last time it happened in Howard County was 1806. The next time will be in 2334. It’s safe to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the community.

To ensure as many people as possible can experience the event, many businesses and schools will close, either temporarily or for the day. That’s important to keep in mind, as there will be roughly an additional 1 million people visiting Indiana just for the eclipse.

While the vast majority of them will be watching the event in Indianapolis, Bloomington, and other southern Indiana cities where the totality will last as long as four minutes, Howard County can expect a bump in people leading up to and during the event.

After the eclipse, as those people travel home, Kokomo may expect increased traffic, especially on U.S. 31 and Ind. 931. Restaurants and grocery stores may get hit with an influx of hungry travelers. In short, whether someone watches the eclipse or not, there’s a good chance they’ll feel the impact.

For those travelling south for a better view, keep a few things in mind. Traffic will be heavier the farther south one travels. Motorists should ensure they have filled gas tanks, an emergency supply kit, food, and water. And they should be prepared for long delays when returning, as everyone will try to get home at the same time.

For those staying in Kokomo to watch the eclipse, where they are located in the city makes a huge difference. The edge of the moon’s shadow will bisect the city. Those in the northern part of the city will miss totality altogether. Those in the southern part of the city will experience totality for about 35 seconds.

That’s bad news for some watchers. The Lantern has included a series of maps showing the edge of the totality’s path. For instance, Kokomo High School and Indiana University Kokomo are in totality. Downtown Kokomo just misses it. This may influence which eclipse event someone wants to attend. See the list of events planned at the end of this article as well as in their own feature on

A fully interactive map of the eclipse’s path can be found at

What to expect

The eclipse begins in Kokomo at approximately 1:51 p.m. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the moon will gradually cover the sun over the next hour or so, until totality is achieved.

For Kokomo residents, totality begins at 3:08:20 and ends at 3:08:55. That’s just 35 seconds. For Greentown residents, the details of the eclipse are the same, but the timing is a little different. The eclipse begins at 1:51 p.m. and ends at 4:23 p.m. But the length of totality differs, beginning at 3:08:03 and ending at 3:09:42. That’s one minute and 39 seconds. That’s right, Greentown has almost triple the totality.

During the lead-up to totality, the eclipse can only be viewed safely through certified viewing glasses or solar filters, which are available in a variety of locations. The Kokomo Lantern has a small supply of the glasses, which can be obtained for free by emailing .

Alternately, the partial eclipse can be viewed indirectly through the use of a pinhole projector. To make your own pinhole projector, get two sheets of paper, paper plates, cardboard, or similar materials. Make a tiny hole in one sheet of paper. Use a pin or thumbtack to make sure the hole is round and smooth.

Graphic/Royal Astronomical Society

Next, turn your back to the sun, and hold the sheet with the pinhole above your shoulder so the sun shines on it. The second sheet of paper should be placed on a table or the ground so that the shadow of the paper covers it. The eclipse should be visible on the second sheet as the sun shines through the pinhole.

You can adjust the size of the image by moving closer or farther away from the second sheet of paper. Practice ahead of time to get the feel for the process. A pinhole projector can be used to view the sun indirectly regardless of an eclipse.

With about 15 minutes before totality arrives, the skies will begin to dim. Even if it’s cloudy, things will get darker. At about 10 minutes before totality, birds and insects will begin changing their behavior. Birds will stop singing, while crickets will start. And the air temperature will begin to fall noticeably.

And as the sun becomes a crescent, thinner and thinner, shadows will become sharper and more detailed. By the time totality is three minutes away, people on top of buildings or in high viewing locations will be able to see the shadow approach from the southwest as it crosses the ground leading to them.

With one to two minutes before totality, a strange phenomenon may become visible. Shadow bands may appear on white or light surfaces. These alternating ripples or light and dark are caused by the atmosphere altering the light’s path. Viewers might want to lay out a white sheet on the ground to experience this event as totality nears.

With just seconds before totality arrives, the moon nearly covers the sun, but there are still a few bright spots shining through. This is caused by the valleys on the moon as the sun shines over them. These spots are known as “Baily’s Beads.” At this point, the eclipse appears as a diamond ring in the sky. For those just outside of the totality’s path, this is as good as it gets.

Viewers will know when totality has been achieved as nothing will be visible through solar glasses and filters. It is now safe to remove the glasses and view the totality with the naked eye.

A white corona should be visible around the black disc that is the moon. The corona will not be perfectly round. There may be long “streamers” of plasma stretching across the sky. There also may be pink clouds of material visible, known as solar prominences.

Farther away from the eclipse, the stars and planets will be visible, just as if it was nighttime. Jupiter and Venus both should be visible in Kokomo. There is even a comet in the sky at that time, though viewing it unaided may be extremely difficult. Telescopes should be able to notice these items in the sky, though most of them likely will be trained on the eclipse.

Finally, those in totality can view the horizon to see the “sunset” in every direction, not just to the west. Unfortunately, with less than a minute of totality, there won’t be much time to see it all in Kokomo. As soon as the first burst of light emerges from the eclipse, the viewing glasses and filters must be used again.

As the eclipse moves away, all of the phenomena experienced during arrival will be repeated in reverse. The shadow bands return. The birds resume singing while the crickets go silent. And the temperature rises.

The partial eclipse will persist until approximately 4:23 p.m.

Eclipse Events

For those staying in Kokomo for the eclipse there are a number of events celebrating the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Keep in mind that some of these events do not take place within the path of totality. The eclipse still will be visible through approved solar glasses and filters, but viewing with the naked eye will not be possible.

The events will be indicated as INSIDE the path or OUTSIDE the path, as follows.


Eclipsed in Fun

It’s not just an eclipse, it’s a party! Join the Kokomo Howard County Public Library on Mon., April 8, for an afternoon celebrating one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles in all of nature! This event takes place at the library’s south branch, 1755 E. Center Road, from noon until 4 p.m. For more information, please visit

Eclipse at the Observatory

Join Indiana University Kokomo on Mon., April 8, to view the total solar eclipse. The event runs from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the IU Kokomo Observatory, 2660 S. Washington St. The eclipse will be live-streamed from a telescope in the dome of the observatory. If the weather conditions are not favorable for viewing in Kokomo, livestreamed views from other locations in the U.S. will be presented in the observatory’s lecture hall.

The Eclipse at Jackson Morrow

Watch the total solar eclipse with the Kokomo Parks and Recreation Department in Jackson Morrow Park, 4200 S. Park Road. This event takes place from 2-4 p.m. and is child-friendly and family focused. This free viewing party will include eclipse glasses (while supplies last), kid-friendly eclipse crafts and activities, a moonwalk bounce house, a live-stream of NASA’s EDGE Megacast, yard games, and snacks.


Eclipse at the Riverwalk

A free concert, Eclipse at the Riverwalk, featuring Luna Worldcast with The Pickin’ Pear, will take place on Mon., April 8, from 1-4 p.m. at the Riverwalk Pavilion in downtown Kokomo. The Coterie will provide food and beverages for this free event.

Dark at the Diamond

Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union invites everyone to Dark at the Diamond on Mon., April 8, for a free eclipse watch party occurring at Kokomo Municipal Stadium, 400 S. Union St., from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome during this family-friendly event. DJ Pugh and Health by Harlow will provide music, and interactive games and activities will take place on the field and concourse. So Tam Good Food Truck, Good Dudes BBQ & Catering, and HomeTeam Ice Cream will have food and treats for purchase, and 2,500 free eclipse glasses will be provided for all attendees while they last.

A final note: Mother Nature may not be agreeable on April 8. Currently, the forecast shows partly cludy skies and 66 degrees at the time of the eclipse. Watch the weather as the day nears , and make plans accordingly.

Still need eclipse glasses? Email us at . We’ll get pairs to you as long as our supplies last!

(Information sources for this article include Indiana University Kokomo, NASA, and