Chasing the 2024 Eclipse – After seeing the 2017 Eclipse in Anderson South Carolina we decided we would not mess 2024. Months of planning, weeks of watching forecast models and days of reading National Weather Service discussions my wife and I set our plan into action.

We arrived in Vincennes Indiana about 9 am after a foggy drive from New Albany Indiana. We chose this spot out of many potential locations due to the best weather and logistics. We had identified a parking lot right behind a McDonald’s which worked out great for logistics. Further we were right on a busy CSX rail line, my wife and I being train enthusiasts, 8 trains would rumble by keeping us entertained during the 6 hour wait until totality. Vincennes was also in the center line which would see 4 minutes and 8 seconds of totality during the eclipse. We got extremely lucky with the weather we “shot the gap” to use the words of the National Weather Service between two massive weather systems one the night before and one coming that evening.

1:48 pm was first contact when the moon began to cover the sun. We still had our eclipse glasses from 2017 so we were well equipped. As the moon continued to bite away at the sun we noticed the temperature slowly started to cool. A temperature that was in the mid 70’s began to steadily fall.

As the time for totality began to rapidly approach things started dimming pretty rapidly and the skies and sunlight took on a purple hue as streetlights came on.

At 3:03 pm the sun now looking like a small bright purplish white star rapidly dimmed and decreased in intensity. Off to the west the sky darkened, brighter stars and planets became visible in the seconds before totality.

As the moon slipped over the sun we got the diamond ring effect, that one bright tiny bit of the sun over the edge of the moon as the sun’s corona appeared, that halo around the moon that is the sun’s atmosphere. We could also see prominences, flares and such looping up from the sun’s surface only visible during such an event.

People cheered as the town came to a grinding halt, everyone with their eyes on the skies. Even McDonald’s stopped. It was like a weird 360 twilight dusk with an orange glow all around the horizon and purplish dark but not black as night sky overhead. Imagine the sky about 15-20 minutes after sunset a bit like that but all around you.

Birds kept chirping away, in the 2017 eclipse crickets and the like started up but not here, it had snowed a bit a few days before so the insects had not come out for the season just yet.

Bob and MaryAnn Pickering

We watched, took photos and took more trying to hang onto this experience as long as possible. But then near 3:08 or so we could see “Baily’s beads” briefly before another diamond ring appeared, signaling that the eclipse was about to end inside of a second the brightness of the sun returned, washing the skies with a purplish light again which rapidly brightened turning the skies blue. However just to the northeast the skies remained dark almost if a storm was present, but indeed it was the moon’s shadow rapidly racing away from us at 1,600 mph and in a few seconds the skies turned to a normal coloration.

An event lasting 4 minutes that we spent 2 days driving was over. We heading southward traffic really was not an issue until we reached the Ohio River where there was a bottleneck over a bridge and then congestion on I24 in Kentucky and Tennessee.

This would make our 2nd total eclipse we would see, the 2017 event was in August and was only 2 minutes of totality but after seeing it we made the decision not to miss the next one easily reached. So start planning now as in 21 years, 2045 it is Florida’s turn. On 12th August of that year a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across Florida putting half of Flagler County in totality. However the best totality will be in central Florida so you have plenty of time to plan.