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This Louisville organization is planning a total solar eclipse road trip

The moon begins to move over the sun during the 2017 solar eclipse in Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington.
Bill Ingalls
In April 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of North America. The Kentucky Science Center has a trip planned to see the celestial phenomenon in person.

A total solar eclipse will darken skies across parts of North America in the spring. It’s a spectacular astrological phenomenon, and the Kentucky Science Center is one group planning a trip to see the eclipse in totality.

While next April’s eclipse will be partially visible from Louisville, the city isn’t in the path of totality.

That path will run from the northeast United States moving south and west to Texas and Mexico. Areas like Paducah, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana sit along the path.

A group organized by the science center will be in Evansville on April 8 for a day full of related activities and to watch the main event.

“So you will come here first thing in the morning. And then we will be greeting you with actual refreshments that are eclipse-themed” explained Olivia Alexander, manager of special events and rentals at the Kentucky Science Center.

Then, the trip begins. Upon arrival, attendees will spend time at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science where they will have full access to galleries as they countdown to the eclipse.

The ride to Evansville is an hour and a half, but Alexander said people will not be left to their own devices during the ride up.

“We'll have speakers on each bus, kind of going over the science behind the eclipse, educating all the guests on everything and just providing more of the entertainment for the ride,” Alexander said.

Paducah was in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse. The National Quilt Museum displayed a special commemorative quilt, and astronomers spoke at in-person events.

Private campgrounds around Kentucky Lake are already urging people to reserve their spots ahead of next April’s eclipse.

This will be Alexander’s first time getting to view a solar eclipse from a place in the path of totality, but science marketing and communication director Taylor U’Sellis has seen one before.

“The entire sky goes dark, it looks like it's about dusk, and then it looks as though there's like a 365-degree sunset going on,” U’Sellis said. “The temperature drops drastically, it's the middle of the day, but then it all of a sudden turns to like nighttime, so drops like 10 or 15 degrees.”

She said all the animals, humans included, “act up” in response to the eclipse.

After experiencing her first one, she was hooked. She promised herself she’d never miss another if she had the opportunity.

This will be the last solar eclipse to be visible in the United States for the next 20 years.

The Kentucky Science Center will commemorate the event in town with special activities for people who will be looking up from Louisville.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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