2024 Eclipse - Photos and more

• J. Hedberg

A collection of our media from the 2024 eclipse


While we would have loved to stay in NYC and host a 90% coverage viewing party on campus, the forces of human nature all conspired and it was agreed that we couldn’t miss totality. The next question: where to go? Rochester? Texas? Montreal?

Why Rapture
X marks the spot

There was a 'widely shared' post on IG that alerted us to the 'city' of Rapture Indiana, which supposedly was right in the middle of the cross formed by the 2017 and 2024 total eclipse paths. How could we say no? We get to spend all our time with other space folks and scientists, so why not try to catch this eclipse from a place somewhat orthogonal to our normal community. It's easy to live in the bubble of astrophysicists and astronomy nuts and not realize there is a whole other basket of nuts out there.

Sure enough! There's a Rapture in Indiana!

Some quick map work showed that indeed, there is a place with a name called Rapture Indiana. And it is located in the path of totality. And it is directly on the way back from St. Louis, where we knew we would be leaving from Monday morning. After consulting the cloud cover maps Monday morning, it looks like it would be clear, so off we went. En route to Rapture. What the IG video misrepresented about this place, was that it is a "city". There is nothing resembling a city at the location of Rapture IN. There isn't really even a town, or anything. Just some fields and a few country roads. Perfect.

So, we arrived at the crossroads just as the sun was about to be eaten by the moon. There was one family already there, and they welcomed us to join. Over the next 30 minutes, several more pilgrims arrived. We set up some tripods, made a few sandwiches, and got ready. Below are some of the images we captured that day.

The Eclipse


We begin with the partial phases. Here’s about 30 minutes of partial eclipse development.

2024 Eclipse
It's happening!

The partial phase lasted for roughly an hour. It was at 3:00 or so that the shadow of totality reached us in Rapture. While none of us were beamed away into the great beyond, the moment certainly transported us in other ways. Here was can see the exact moment when the sun’s photosphere is completely obscured by the moon, and all we can see is the corona and few solar prominences skirting on the edges.

The moment when the moon obscures the sun. This video shows the motion in real time.
Slowed down loop of the moment totality happened.

When you’re standing there - totality happens fast! You know it’s coming. There’s something different about the light and the air and whole world. People look crisp. Shadows have strange edges. The temperature has dropped. And then, in a flash, you’re in totality.


You’re then left with the split second decision about what to do. Fiddle with cameras? Take more pictures? Or just stare and enjoy the weirdness. Not being much of an experienced astrophotographer, I did a little fiddling, and took a few pictures, but mostly tried to just let it wash over me.

2024 Eclipse
Totality. Solar prominences seen at the bottom and upper left.

Since we were in the middle of some fields in the wide open landscape of the mid-west, the 360 sunset that occurs during totality was very prominent. It was probably my favorite part of the ‘experience’.

Two 360 views of totality, sped up. Sunsets all around!

Here is a 360/VR version of the entire scene on YouTube. (You should be able to view this in some VR goggles if you have them.) It’s in realtime, so you can experience the ~4 minutes of totality.

Other interesting features were the appearance of Jupiter and Venus during totality. (No sign of the comet, but things happened fast and I forget where to even look for it.)

2024 Eclipse
Venus and Jupiter were easily visible during totality

In Rapture

In the end, this was about as good as it gets for an eclipse viewing. The weather was divine. The company fantastic. A few more images to remember the day.

A group photo showing the collection of people that traveled from all corners of the US to this crossroads. There were groups from Florida, Oregon, Michigan, NY, Kentucky, and more. (Thanks Brandon and Tim for orchestrating!)
Crescent Shadows
There were not a lot of trees around, but by poking some holes in a paper cup, we could see the crescent shadows during the partial phase.
Look Up
Planetarium Director James Hedberg in rapture