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Butler planetarium show gives pointers for April’s total solar eclipse

Butler Planetarium prepares for eclipse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Holcomb Observatory at Butler University is preparing for the excitement of the total solar eclipse with a special show at its planetarium.

It’s an immersive show called “Eclipse: The Sun Revealed.” The presentation is split up into a half-hour short movie about eclipses throughout history and a walkthrough of what it will look like in central Indiana on April 8.

The full dome of the planetarium will be lit up with projections of the sun, moon and other objects people might be able to see in the sky.

Brian Murphy, director of the Holcomb Observatory, says the goal is to prepare audiences for what to look for on the big day.

“We want them, for instance, to look for the moon’s shadow coming at them at 2000 miles an hour from the west,” Murphy said. “Look for the diamond ring effect, look for shadow pans, look for Venus and Jupiter in the sky during totality. Look at the corona of the sun.”

During the cosmic event, the sun will only be in a total eclipse for a little over four minutes.

For that reason, Murphy says, people will also learn how important location is to one’s viewing experience.

“One thing we do want to stress with this show is that a 99% eclipse sun is still 0% totality,” Murphy said. “We want people to get in the path of totality and see that total solar eclipse.”

The shows run Fridays and Saturdays through the end of March. According to Murphy, they will ramp up the show to meet demand the week before the eclipse.

“Eclipse: The Sun Revealed” Showtimes

  • March 8 – 9
    • Doors: 7 p.m.
  • March 15, 16 ,22, 23, 29 & 30
    • Doors: 8 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for kids and students. Tickets are purchased at the door and no reservations are needed.