I’ve read that total solar eclipses occur somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, but they only recur at any given place once every 360 to 410 years. People are infatuated with this experience and enthusiasts often travel far and wide around the planet to be part of totality, when the Moon obscures the entire disk of the Sun and only the solar corona is visible, and that occurs, at best, only in a narrow track on the surface of Earth. That “track” will cut through Central Indiana next month, and local businesses have been gearing up to support the crowds who they hope will travel here for such an experience.

An eclipse hasn’t garnered this much attention since Twain’s Connecticut Yankee blotted out the sun in exchange for a death sentence pardon from King Arthur!

“Name any terms, reverend sir, even to the halving of my kingdom; but banish this calamity, spare the sun!”

The path of totality will traverse here on April 8th, the only question being will the weather permit good viewing that afternoon? Let’s hope so! Schools have already announced they will be closed. Hotel rooms have been snapped up, t-shirts celebrating the event are selling at the oddest places (I saw one in a donut shop!) and Amazon has enjoyed brisk business selling Solar Eclipse Glasses. Heck, I even bought a 25-pack so as to have enough to dole out to family and friends.

NOTE: Looking directly at the photosphere of the Sun (the bright disk of the Sun itself), even for just a few seconds, can cause permanent damage to the retina of the eye if unprotected. If you’re in the market for eclipse glasses, the advice is to get those rated ISO 12312-2 & CE Certified.

And yes, there is a ham radio angle here. NASA’s citizen scientist programs include Eclipse Radio aspects and your help is solicited.

Given that the NEXT Total Solar Eclipse that will pass through Central Indiana will occur in October 2153, a mere 129 years from now when I’m 194 years old, I hope viewing conditions will be favorable for this one.