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Eclipse Highlights Not To Miss

Prepare for the bizarre. First-time eclipse observers should anticipate several unique phenomena during a total solar eclipse, for you don't want to miss multiple sensory features that contribute to the indescribable awe. The spectacle entails more than a disappearing sun and its signature corona. If you prepare for these subtleties in advance, your total solar eclipse experience will be vastly more rewarding.

Michiana Astronomical Society (MAS) President Bruce Miller kindly recorded Eclipse Blitz ( in which I suggest ways amateur astronomers and educators can engage the public with eclipse-related activities for all age groups. I then delve into the multiple eclipse highlights that can easily be missed amid the distractions of approaching totality.

Though I rapidly blast through slides in a survey of topics that observers can pursue on their own, I show in more detail the bizarre nature of lighting and shadows seen just before and after totality. For example, most of your life the sun is a disk in the daytime sky, but on Eclipse Day you have fleeting minutes when the sun segues from a disk to a sliver to a point. Not only does the brightness diminish, but the characteristic of the light itself and your eye's response yield bizarre visual effects. You can demonstrate this beforehand, then hopefully witness it live on April 8, 2024.

Thanks go to Bruce Miller, MAS colleagues, and visiting guests who attended the session both in-person and online. I appreciate your enthusiasm, suggestions, and kind words. Thanks also to Gordon Telepun (Solar Eclipse Timer) and others from whom I borrowed images and content for educational purposes. In some instances where I used wording that could yield misconceptions, I edited them out of the YouTube video. I recommend you fact check me and do your homework.

May you have clear skies and be well prepared to seize the day that day disappears.


00:00 Eclipse Blitz intro

00:52 Maps

04:43 Eye safety

05:20 Sites in Indiana and Cleveland

06:46 Activities intro

07:48 Sidewalk astronomy

08:48 Spaceweather

09:18 Models of sun-moon-earth scale

10:06 Foam ball model to simulate eclipses

11:05 Affix earth-moon model to equatorial telescope mount

12:52 Kid craft with shaving cream

13:11 Eclipse phases with cookies

13:24 Eclipse websites simulating phases for your location

13:50 Decorate plain solar shades

13:14 Indigenous eclipse teachings

15:17 Solar math

15:25 Advocate for community solar

16:44 NASA Space Place

16:56 Projection techniques (camera obscura)

19:24 Spot mirror projection

20:11 Solargraph (pinhole camera)

21:31 Sun funnel (rear projection for telescope)

22:47 Eclipse Day intro

24:33 Solar Eclipse Timer app/website/videos

27:15 Shadow activity in-depth (bizarre shadows)

31:05 Purkinje Effect in-depth (bizarre colors)

36:02 Shadow bands

37:40 Baily’s Beads

39:37 Diamond Ring

40:44 Totality

42:03 Planets and Horizon and Crickets

43:20 Sky Quality Meter readings

44:07 Do-over in reverse

45:19 If cloudy

46:12 Post-eclipse celebration

46:48 Contact information


Complete slides from the presentation with links (contact sheets shown below) are available at

Contact sheet showing slides 1-60 of Eclipse Blitz presentation.

Contact sheet showing slides 61-119 of Eclipse Blitz presentation.


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