April 8 Eclipse Tips
Avon and a large swath of central Indiana are directly in the path of the total solar eclipse that will occur on April 8. As the event nears, its magnitude is becoming clear. Consider the following bits of information we've been gleaning from scientific experts and safety agencies:
- The April 8 eclipse will begin at approximately 1:45 pm and end by 4:30 pm; totality will begin at roughly 3:00 pm.
- The moon will cover 100% of the sun for approximately 3.5 minutes in Avon; it will last for 4 minutes in Bloomington.
- The next solar eclipse visible in North America will occur in 2044 and the next one affecting parts of Indiana will occur in 2099.
- During the eclipse it will be so dark that some bright planets and stars will be visible, temperatures may drop by as many as 10 degrees, and nocturnal animals will become active.
- State officials expect as many as 500,000 to a million people to visit central Indiana to experience the event.
- Public safety officials are already preparing to manage a crowd that will exceed five times the size of the Indianapolis 500 across multiple counties that lie in the path of totality.
- Communities that have experienced total solar eclipses (in 2017 and 2023) have reported traffic gridlock, extremely long commute times, fuel shortages at gas stations, cellular service outages, and other adverse outcomes resulting from overtaxed infrastructure.
School corporations across central Indiana — Avon Schools included — have cancelled in-person classes that day. Avon Schools has scheduled an e-learning day. This enables our students, families, and employees to avoid the inconveniences listed above while giving them the opportunity to enjoy the experience of this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Why are we sharing this information?
Our first concern is the safety of our students, families, staff, and community. Please consider the following.
If you have the freedom and flexibility to take a vacation day or work from home on April 8, please consider doing so. This will eliminate the risk of getting caught in traffic or experiencing other potentially unsafe situations. Consider filling your gas tanks and picking up groceries beforehand. If guests are traveling into town, encourage them to plan accordingly.
Enjoy the eclipse safely
Be aware that it is not healthy or safe for you — or your pets — to view the eclipse without proper eyewear. There are many products that claim to be safe for viewing the eclipse but are not. Use only trusted sources for glasses, solar filters for cameras, and other products. This list of suppliers is a great place to start. Order soon, before prices increase and supplies run low.
Take health and safety precautions
Be aware that health and safety agencies predict that their services will be severely delayed or limited on April 8. Consider picking up prescription medications before April 8. Watch out for one another; during previous eclipse events, reports of drug usage and mental health emergencies have spiked. Also, know that if you do have a true health or safety emergency, first responders might not be able to reach you. Please take appropriate precautions.
Learn more about the eclipse.
The eclipse provides a fantastic learning experience. If you'd like to learn more, here are a few resources to get you started:
- My NASA DATA Mini Lessons
- Indiana Department of Education STEM Learning
- Indiana Department of Homeland Security
- American Astronomical Society
- How to View an Eclipse with a Cereal Box (YouTube video)
It's exciting to be in the path of such a rare event. Let's plan together so we can all enjoy it safely. There will certainly be interesting stories to tell when students and staff return to school in-person on April 9.