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Indiana Prepares For August’s Total Eclipse

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Photo: James Vavrek

Carmel residents view a computer simulation of a total eclipse

The United States will experience its first total eclipse in nearly four decades next month.

Earlier this Summer, workers from the Link Observatory hosted an event at the Carmel library and explained what people can expect in August.

“This is what you will look like that day,” says CEO Greg McCauley, holding up a pair of small cardboard glasses – they look an awful lot like 3D glasses.

But, these are called eclipse glasses.

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Photo: James Vavrek

A pair of eclipse glasses

“There’s only 2 manufacturers that make these – they can’t make 300 million of these. So the demand is going to be insane,” says Eclipse enthusiast Dan McGlaun, who helps distribute the glasses.

McGlaun’s the creator of Eclipse2017.org, a website dedicated to information about the upcoming total eclipse. It’s gives people access to a list of eclipse-related events planned in their communities.

“This eclipse belongs to the United States,” he says. “That’s the only country that totality will touch land. And it doesn’t really go over a lot of big cities. This eclipse belongs not only to America, but to all the small communities where people are going to come from all over the world – literally – to come to Beatrice, Nebraska or Casper, Wyoming, and to see one of the most amazing things they’ll see in their life.”

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Photo: James Vavrek

Greg McCauley demonstrates his eclipse glasses

These glasses aren’t anything like a normal pair of sunglasses. They contain a special film in the lens that’s so dark, you can’t see much of anything. But they allow just enough ultraviolet light in so you can safely look directly at the sun and enjoy the eclipse.

The Carmel library will give away 1,000 of the glasses for free at an event leading up to the eclipse.

Everyone in the United States will be able to experience the eclipse, but only those in what’s called the path of totality will see the moon completely cover the sun. That path starts in Oregon and travels all the way to South Carolina.

“During totality, if you look at the sun, it looks like somebody took the most beautiful, purplish, bluish, deep twilight velvet sky,” McGlaun says. “Just put a couple of stars here, cut an impossibly black hole, and smear cotton candy half-way across the sky, and it just shimmers.”

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Photo: Eclipse2017.org

A map showing the path of totality

While Indiana isn’t in the path of totality, Hoosiers will be able to see the moon cover about 90 percent of the sun. If you want to see the total eclipse, the closest town in the path of totality is Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The town is hosting a 3-day festival leading up to the eclipse.

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