On 8/21/17 a contingent of CSI students, staff and faculty travelled to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to observe the full solar eclipse. Given the short drive to a location that offered the eclipse in totality, and the rareness of this as a life experience, CSI was compelled to take the opportunity and offer it to our research family.
While total solar eclipses happen between two and five times a year, most happen far enough from population centers that having the chance to experience them in person is a rarity. In the case of Indiana University, the closeness of totality prompted many students and professors to seek a chance to experience it in full. Though totality will be visible over the USA again in 2024, and that time over Bloomington itself, many of our students will no longer be in Indiana and so this opportunity could not be ignored.
Twenty-one participants drove down in three vehicles to spend the day relaxing as a team before experiencing what Professor Apu Kapadia promised would be a “once in a lifetime experience.” Once they had all arrived, the groups converged on a singular spot to team build through gaming, chatting, and eating until the eclipse began.
Hopkinsville was full of people from near and far. Thousands had traveled to the same state fair grounds as the CSI group. Drones flew overhead, people mingled, and the only moment that was silent was when the mid day sky darkened and the moon blotted out the sun.
That was a moving life experience. As one student put it:
I really cherished each and every moment of it.
Below are the pictures we took from that day: