2024 Total Solar Eclipse at Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium

INDIANAPOLIS – From Sunday evening May 15 to Monday morning May 16, a total lunar eclipse was visible, weather permitting.

The last to appear was in January 2019, and our next total lunar eclipse will be in the wee hours of November 8.e.

Meanwhile, the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium on the Butler University campus prepares for the total solar eclipse.

It will make its appearance in April 2024!

In 2017, the partial solar eclipse drew around 1,000 observers to Butler. It’s been over 800 years since a total solar eclipse occurred here in Indy, so you can imagine people are going to be drawn to the out of this world experience.

This is why students and teachers are preparing for the eclipse in two years!

“When people see the moon or Saturn for the first time, they don’t believe it’s real,” said Brian Murphy, director of the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University.

You can get closer to the universe by visiting the observatory and the planetarium. For Murphy, it’s a must.

“It’s the largest telescope in the state of Indiana, built in 1954,” he shared.

The observatory had to close to visitors due to COVID-19, but it is now open again and people are wasting no time coming back to visit.

“Right before the pandemic hit, we were among the biggest numbers I’ve ever seen, and it was very exciting to come to work every week and now it’s starting again,” said Wyatt Spies, a senior, who comes to graduate from Butler.

“We can take them on a journey through space,” added Corinna Pena, a student who also just graduated from college.

“It’s very special to have this here in Indianapolis,” junior Josh Wanninger said.

Hundreds of visitors will increase to thousands for the total solar eclipse in 2024, which is expected to be one of its biggest events yet.

To prepare for this massive event, the telescope underwent a $500,000 renovation. The planetarium is now fully digital, students are preparing shows and scenarios, and this summer, classroom renovations will also serve as exhibit space.

“We will also be using this space to educate the public about the eclipse,” Murphy said.

The students want to share this building with the Indiana Center, in hopes that astronomy can excite your imagination, as it does for them.

“To me, astronomy excites the imagination,” Spies said. “There is so much to discover and we have already learned so much.”

On May 20 and 21, the planetarium will present “Eclipse: The Sun Revealed.” It’s a show highlighting the upcoming Indy total solar eclipse and other stories. There are also times to see the telescope.

You can find information about the event below, or you can click here to visit the Holcomb Observatory Facebook page to learn more about their lineup.

Courtesy of Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium

Arline J. Mercier