Join us for the 2024 Eclipse in the Path of Totality in Scott County Indiana

Scott County, Indiana is in the “Path of Totality”

On April 8, 2024, Scott County, Indiana (Scottsburg and Austin) will be within the narrow band that will be include in a “total” solar eclipse as it crosses the United States mainland. This will give us a glimpse of the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, that is only visible when the sun’s disc is completely covered by the moon.

To witness this incredible total solar eclipse, you will need to be within the 115-mile wide “Path of Totality,” which Scott County will be located as it crosses the US. Unless you’re within that line – the path of totality – you’ll only see a particle eclipse, weather permitting. The difference between a total solar eclipse and a partial eclipse is, literally, the difference between night and day. So, get yourself to Scott County, Indiana and into the “path of totality” if you can for this once in a lifetime experience. The closer you are to the center of the path, the longer the “totality,” or the maximum point of the eclipse will last.

The whole solar eclipse event will take about two and a half hours, but the “Totality” will only last for a few minutes.

Total solar eclipse visibility in Scott County, IN: (100.00% coverage of Sun)

Magnitude: 1.0016

Duration of Eclipse:   2 hours, 33 minutes, 31 seconds

Totality - Duration:  1 minute, 14 seconds

  • Partial begins at 1:49:38 pm
  • Full begins at 3:06:54 pm
  • Maximum: at 3:07:31 pm
  • Full ends: at 3:08:08 pm
  • Partial ends: at 4:23:09 pm

Times shown in local time (EDT)

Scott County, Indiana

Most towns in the US aren’t going to be within this “path of totality” as we are here in Scottsburg and Austin Indiana. If you want to experience this firsthand, make your hotel and campsite reservations as early as possible as they will likely book up to months in advance.

It will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until August 23, 2044 and Scott County will not be within the “path of totality” until the year 2153 – that’s 129 years after this event in 2024.

So how special is this opportunity? Only 0.54% of the world’s population will experience the full totality of the solar eclipse and only 8.04% of the earth’s total population has any chance of seeing any part of this solar eclipse.

So, what is a full or total solar eclipse? 

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. People viewing the eclipse from locations where the Moon’s shadow completely covers the Sun – known as the “path of totality” and will experience a total solar eclipse. Meaning the sky will become dark, as if it were dawn or dusk.

A total solar eclipse is the only type of solar eclipse where viewers can momentarily remove their eclipse glasses (which are not the same as regular sunglasses). It is only safe to remove your eclipse glasses during what’s known as totality, the brief period when the Moon is completely blocking the Sun.

What you can see during a total solar eclipse depends on the weather and the location from which you view it.

Weather: You need clear skies to have the full eclipse experience, with a clear view of the Sun and Moon. However, the eerie daytime darkness associated with eclipses is still noticeable with cloud cover.

Stages of a Total Solar Eclipse

There are several distinct stages of a total solar eclipse that observers can watch for. You must not remove your eclipse glasses until the Moon has completely covered the Sun, the portion of the eclipse known as “totality.” 

Partial Eclipse

As the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, at first it does not completely cover the Sun. The Sun appears to have a crescent shape. For most locations, the partial eclipse phase will last between 70 and 80 minutes. You must wear your eclipse glasses when viewing the Sun during the partial eclipse phase. The moment when the Moon first "touches" the Sun is also called the first contact. 

Shadow Bands

Shadow bands are rapidly moving, long, dark bands separated by white spaces that can be seen on the sides of buildings or the ground just before and after totality, though they can be very faint and difficult to photograph. Earth’s upper atmosphere contains turbulent cells of air that distort the sharp-edged light from the solar surface, the same way it distorts starlight and causes stars to twinkle. 

Baily’s Beads

As the Moon continues to move across the Sun, several points of light shine around the Moon’s edges. Known as Baily's Beads, these are light rays from the Sun streaming through the valleys along the Moon's horizon. Baily’s Beads are very short-lived and may not last long enough to be noticeable to all observers of the total solar eclipse.

Diamond Ring

Baily’s Beads will begin to disappear until eventually only a single bright spot will remain along the edge of the Moon’s shadow. This bright spot resembles the diamond in a giant diamond ring formed by the rest of the Sun’s atmosphere. Totality is almost here – but keep those eclipse glasses on! 


Once the diamond ring disappears and there is no longer any direct sunlight, you may remove your eclipse glasses and look at the total eclipse safely with the naked eye. This moment is also called second contact. During totality, viewers may be able to see the chromosphere (a region of the solar atmosphere, appearing as the thin circle of pink around the Moon) and the corona (the outer solar atmosphere, appearing as streams of white light). Be vigilant to protect your eyes and put your eclipse glasses back on before totality ends. Totality will only last for just a little over a minute in Scott County.

During totality, take a few seconds to observe the world around you. You may be able to see a 360-degree sunset. You may also be able to see some particularly bright stars or planets in the darkened sky. The air temperature will drop and often an eerie silence will settle around you. It is also worth stealing a peek at the people around you – many people have a deep emotional response when the Sun goes into totality. 

Brightening Reappears

As the Moon continues to move across the face of the Sun, you will begin to see brightening on the opposite side from where the diamond ring shone at the beginning. This is the lower atmosphere of the Sun, beginning to peek out from behind the Moon and THIS is your signal to stop looking directly at the eclipse. Make sure your eclipse glasses are back on, or you are otherwise watching the eclipse through an unsafe, indirect method – before the first flash of sunlight appears around the edges of the Moon. This moment is also called third contact. 

Diamond Ring, Baily’s Beads, and Shadow Bands – Again

Once your eyes are protected again, you may continue to watch the final stages of the eclipse as the end process mirrors the beginning: You will again see the diamond ring, Baily’s Beads, and shadow bands before the entire Sun is visible.

Fourth contact is the moment that none of the Sun is covered by the Moon’s shadow. This is when the eclipse is completely over, but most likely you will have already packed up your things and begun planning your next eclipse adventure.


Safety is the number one priority when viewing a total solar eclipse. Be sure you're familiar with when you need to wear specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing by reviewing these safety guidelines.

Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.

Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with your eyes, which happens before and after totality, you must always look through safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses) or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the Sun. Safe solar viewers are thousands of times darker and must comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

  • Always inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use; if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device.
  • Always supervise children using solar viewers.
  • Do NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury.
  • Do NOT use eclipse glasses or handheld viewers with cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. Those require different types of solar filters. When viewing the partial phases of the eclipse through cameras, binoculars, or telescopes equipped with proper solar filters, you do not need to wear eclipse glasses. (The solar filters do the same job as the eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.)
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • View the Sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.
  • You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection only when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. (You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.)
  • As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.

Indirect Viewing Method

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method, which does not involve looking directly at the Sun. One way is to use a pinhole projector, which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface. With the Sun at your back, you can then safely view the projected image. Do NOT look at the Sun through the pinhole! 

Skin Safety

Even during a partial or annular eclipse, or during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the Sun will be very bright. If you are watching an entire eclipse, you may be in direct sunlight for hours. Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to prevent skin damage.

Viewing Parties & More Events

The Scott County Visitors Commission will be announcing Special Viewing Parties after the turn of the new year in preparation of this special event. 

Safe Solar Viewing Glasses – Eclipse Glasses

Scott County Visitors Commission will provide a verified link to purchase your safe solar viewing glasses (“eclipse glasses”) or a safe handheld solar viewer. Remember, safe solar viewers are thousands of times darker and comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standards for the protection of your eyes.

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