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How to enjoy the eclipse last minute

Even if you don’t have big plans, you can still enjoy the solar eclipse right here in Louisville.

A map of the US showing the paths of totality for the 2023 and 2024 Total Solar Ecplipses, with description text by NASA. The yellow 2023 line crosses from Oregon through Texas, while the blue 2024 line crosses up from Texas through Maine.

Louisville falls outside the path of totality, but we’ll still see quite the show.

Photo via NASA

Today at about 2 p.m., the moon will begin to pass in front of the sun in the first solar eclipse the US has seen in seven years. While Louisville isn’t within the path of totality, it will experience 98.8% obscuration by 3:06 p.m. — which is pretty darn close.

Thousands of people are traveling north + west to experience complete totality, but you can still enjoy the cosmological event if you’re planning on staying put.

The most important thing to keep in mind is safety. If you don’t have approved eclipse glasses or another safe solar viewer, do not look directly at the sun. Sunglasses aren’t enough to protect you from its harmful rays. But don’t worry, there are other ways to observe the eclipse.

Completely last minute

If you only have a few minutes to step outside, you’ll still be able to see the effects of the eclipse — it’ll be about as dark as early dusk at 3:06 p.m.

If you stand under one of Louisville’s many beautiful trees (39% of the city is shaded by foliage), the gaps between the leaves will act like a pinhole projector and you’ll be able to watch a shadow version of the moon pass across the sun.

Since the eclipse will occur between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., the sun will be in the southern portion of the Louisville sky. Pro tip: Just turn your back to the river and you’ll find it.

A short trip

If you have time this afternoon, you can head to Iroquois Park or Waterfront Park to enjoy the eclipse with others for free, no registration required. If you’re looking to snack + drink while you marvel at the beauty of the universe, you can head to Against the Grain’s patio.

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