1/14/24 - 4/8/24


Buskirk-Chumley Theater & WonderLab

Solar Eclipse Series

location_on Buskirk-Chumley Theater
location_on WonderLab Museum
location_on 4th Street by WonderLab Museum
escalator_warningFamily Friendly
WonderLab AfterHours: Eclipsed by Chocolate
Sat, Feb 24, 2024
Science on Screen: The Martian
Tue, Mar 26, 2024
Solar Eclipse Preview Day
Sat, Apr 6, 2024
Spring Maker Workshop: The Eyes Have It
Sat, Apr 6, 2024
Total Solar Eclipse Street Party
Mon, Apr 8, 2024

On April 8, 2024 a total solar eclipse will travel from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada. At approximately 3:04 p.m. the city of Bloomington, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, & WonderLab, will be ideally situated for optimal viewing in the very center of the path of totality. Totality will last approximately four minutes and three seconds.

In partnership with Science on Screen®, WonderLab Museum and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater have teamed up to bring you the Solar Eclipse Series! This series contains a bevy of events for you to enjoy in the lead up to the day of the eclipse!

Eclipse Day

In Bloomington, Indiana:

  • Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
  • Duration: 2 hours, 33 minutes, 20 seconds
  • Duration of totality: 4 minutes, 3 seconds
  • Partial begins: Apr 8, 2024 at 1:49:09 pm
  • Full begins: Apr 8, 2024 at 3:04:51 pm
  • Maximum/Totality: Apr 8, 2024 at 3:06:52 pm
  • Full ends: Apr 8, 2024 at 3:08:54 pm
  • Partial ends: Apr 8, 2024 at 4:22:29 pm

What is an Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun and the Moon blocks the Sun for a viewer on Earth. During a total eclipse, the Moon lines up perfectly to fully obscure the Sun, resulting in “totality”; in a partial eclipse, the Moon and the Sun are not perfectly aligned and only part of the Sun is blocked; and during an annular eclipse, alignment is perfect but the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely obscure the Sun. The fact that a total solar eclipse is visible from Earth only along a very narrow path for just a few short minutes makes totality one of nature’s rarest events.

What to Expect

Most people who have seen a total eclipse have described it as the most spectacular natural event they have ever witnessed. It starts as the Moon slowly obscures more and more of the Sun. As the eclipse deepens, the world around you takes on a strange tint and shadows become sharp and detailed. When just a thin crescent of light can be seen through your eclipse glasses, daylight begins to fade and rippling “shadow bands” might be seen on the ground. And then “totality,” as the soft wisps of the solar corona surround a huge hole where the Sun used to be. You might notice a temperature drop and birds flying home to their nests. You’re standing in a strange twilight, while a “sunset” glows all around you. Finally, totality comes to an end and the events occur in reverse order.


Myths and stories surround solar eclipses. Many cultures view eclipse events differently. People who’ve experienced totality describe the event as life changing.

Where will you be during the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse? Will you spend time with family? Friends? Will you travel or is the eclipse happening where you live?

Read about different cultures and reactions to the solar eclipse here: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar-eclipse-myths.html

Eclipse Safety


Except during totality, never look at the Sun without eye protection. When viewing the eclipse, use eclipse glasses or a viewer at all times when any part of the Sun is visible.

Adequate eye protection specifically designed for viewing the Sun is essential and should be worn so that no harmful rays from the Sun can reach the eye.

A total solar eclipse is about as bright as the full Moon — and just as safe to look at. But the Sun at any other time is dangerously bright; view it only through special-purpose “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products.


You must use a solar filter to view the partial phases, however the total part of the eclipse is completely safe to look at with the naked eye. In fact, you cannot even see totality unless you remove your solar viewers.

Direct viewing of the Sun can cause permanent eye damage if the proper precautions are not taken.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun.



Solar Glasses are available for purchase from WonderLab for $2 per pair through 2023.

View the 2024 Solar Eclipse safely through these certified solar viewers by American Paper Optics. With an optical density of 5 or greater, these ISO 12312-2 compliant and CE certified eclipse glasses are independently tested and safe for all phases of the eclipse.

Pick up a pair in the WonderLab Gift Store or purchase viewers in packs of 5 or 10 on-line.


Science on Screen® initiative brings science to cinemas nationwide.

An initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this series puts together creative pairings of current, classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.