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Paoli, IN 47454
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Eyes On The Sky

Community Prepares For a Total Solar Eclipse

April 8, will be an extraordinary day for Indiana, located at the epicenter of a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event: a total solar eclipse. The solar eclipse
will grace the skies, casting nearly total darkness over 12 counties along its path. Paoli is especially unique, as it is just beside the path of a total eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon crosses between the path of Earth and the sun, briefly turning day into night. This extraordinary event happens because the moon’s orbit aligns perfectly with the sun, casting a shadow on our planet.

Because Paoli is in the path of totality and will witness a near-total eclipse, where the moon covers most of the sun, leaving only a slender ring of light.

Resource Aid Bill Johnson is an avid sky-watcher, and during the last eclipse in 2017, he traveled to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to view the eclipse. When Johnson traveled to Kentucky, he experienced both the partial eclipse and totality. The particle eclipse lasted for about an hour and a half, then totality began immediately after. Totality lasted 2 minutes and 49 seconds, then after totality, the sun was not fully visible for another hour and a half.

“During totality, you could hear the crickets chirping,” said Johnson.

A map showing the projected path of totality for the April 8 eclipse. (Courtesy of www.in.gov/dhs)

Johnson has been a member of the Stonebelt Stargazers Astronomy Club for the past 23 years. The club has held public star viewing parties at Spring Mill State Park, along with other state parks, libraries and organizations. They have also host one astronomy day event every year, however, the location varied.

“During my time with the Stonebelt Stargazer Astronomy Club as both a member and as the president, we had the opportunity to observe two transits
of Venus. A transit of Mercury, several lunar eclipses,” said Johnson.

This year, Johnson will either stay in Paoli, or he will go to Vincennes, where his nephew lives. Since Vincennes is on the direct path for totality, it lasts longer in there than it will in Paoli. Totality in Vincennes will last approximately 4 minutes, while in Paoli it will last approximately 2 minutes and 49 seconds.

During the eclipse, viewers are encouraged to look at the event using only special ISO-certified glasses. These protect the eyes from the sun’s intense
rays. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, will not protect your eyes from the sun’s intense rays.

Paoli students will not be coming to school, as this day may be used as an E-learning day in the event of a necessary snow make-up day. So, students will be receiving eclipse glasses from the school, and they will be passed out the Friday before and will be out of school on Monday.

Many events connected to the eclipse are planned in and around Orange County.

Paoli Peaks will be hosting a Paoli Solar Eclipse Bash that will start on April 7 from 11 a.m. to April 8 at 5 p.m. The event will feature live music, food
and a hilltop eclipse view. Guests can purchase a two-day pass for $40 for adults and $20 for kids 10 and under. Single-day tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.com.

The Lost River Market and Deli in Paoli is offering a limited edition eclipse picnic box. Orders can be placed online on their website and be picked up on April 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The first 25 to grab a box will also get a free pair of eclipse viewing glasses.

At Legendz in French Lick, you can enjoy live music on the patio from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday. They also have a dance party and Eclipse Club Scene from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Karaoke starts at 10 p.m. Late- night pizza is available until 3 a.m.

For more information about the eclipse, go to www.in.gov/dhs.

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McKinley Stewart
McKinley Stewart, Social Media Staff
Cambry Tinkle
Cambry Tinkle, Business Manager, Web Editor-in-Chief
Hi my name is Cambry Tinkle, and I'm a senior at PHS. I'm the business manager and editor-in-chief for the web! I enjoy listening to music, hanging out with friends, and being apart of Booster Club.
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