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Total Solar Eclipse Event Offering Full Day of Fun, Science April 8 at IMS

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Total Solar Eclipse Event at IMS presented by Purdue

Spectators can enjoy a variety of sights and sounds at this once-in-a-lifetime event at IMS.

Comprehensive details have been announced for one of Indiana’s largest total solar eclipse watch events, with thousands from across the world expected to experience the April 8 Total Solar Eclipse Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway presented by Purdue University.

During this once-in-a-lifetime event, attendees are in store for an exciting day of programming and celebration as Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Purdue team up with NASA, which chose the iconic racing venue as one of a select few broadcast locations across the country for this incredible phenomenon.

Special Guests

Among the guests expected in attendance are members of Indiana’s congressional delegation, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Mark and Rick Armstrong, the sons of Purdue graduate and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong. Multiple astronauts and NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers will also be in attendance:

Drivers attending include Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing, Will Power of Team Penske and Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren, with Arrow McLaren Sporting Director Tony Kanaan also attending.

Members of Purdue’s famed Cradle of Astronauts attending include Sirisha Bandla, Drew Feustel, Beth Moses, Mark Polansky and Audrey Powers, and NASA astronaut Megan McArthur also will be at IMS.

Drivers and astronauts will be featured throughout the day as subject matter experts, as well as participating in an autograph session to conclude the day’s events.


Two educational programming tracks will run concurrently. The Sun Track will be more technical in nature. The Moon Track is tailored for youth and families. All programming will feature experts from NASA, Purdue University and INDYCAR (all times Eastern).

Sun Track (Gallagher Pavilion, Adult)

Hosted by WTHR Chief Meteorologist and Purdue Alumna Angela Buchman

10 a.m.: Closer than Ever Before: Technologies to Touch the Sun

Technologies to Touch the Sun (Parker Solar Probe) and Space Weather

10:30 a.m.: Eyes on the Skies and Beyond

An infrared eye on planets in Earth's solar system: James Webb Telescope

11 a.m.: Beyond Apollo: Neil Armstrong's Legacy and Artemis' Ascent

Bridging the historic footsteps of Neil Armstrong with the cutting-edge aspirations of the Artemis mission

11:30 a.m.: LIVE: Astronaut Panel presented by “This is Purdue”

Five members of Purdue University’s Cradle of Astronauts join the “This is Purdue” podcast for a live panel to discuss their experiences in space

12:10 p.m.: Rockets to Race Cars

Exploring the intersection between manned space flights, motorsports and the innovation behind it all

Moon Track (North Chalet, Youth/Family)

Hosted by Indianapolis Sports Personality and Purdue Senior Communications Specialist Derek Schultz

10 a.m.: Feeling is Believing: A Tactile Eclipse Experience

Tactile Engineering & NearSpace Education bring a total solar eclipse into view for the visually impaired

10:40 a.m.: Rockets to Race Cars

Rajah Caruth’s Motorsports Journey (Documentary and Panel Q&A)

11:20 a.m.: Astro, Racer, Engineer, Scientist & More

Follow your dreams to a career in STEM

Noon: In the Shadow: A Greatest Spectacle

The science behind the day’s main event, a total solar eclipse

In addition, NASA will have more than a dozen educational exhibits with which attendees can interact. Faculty, students and subject matter experts from Purdue University, Indiana Space Grant Consortium and NearSpace Education also will offer exhibits, booths, demonstrations and displays, available throughout the day in IMS’ Trackside Garages, turned Exhibit Hall.

On-Track Programming

Fans can purchase a bus tour track lap and Kiss the Bricks through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

At the start of the NASA TV global broadcast, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be on full display for spectators. Three-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter will turn a handful of demonstration laps of the 2.5-mile oval in an Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet INDYCAR SERIES car just before the start of the Total Solar Eclipse sequence.

Schedule (all times ET)

9 a.m.: Gates open; Gates 2, 3 and 6

10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Educational programming

12:35 p.m.: Opening ceremonies and parade lap

1 p.m.: NASA broadcast begins/INDYCAR SERIES demo laps

1:50:34 p.m.: Solar eclipse begins with partial

3:06:04 p.m.: Totality begins

3:07:59 p.m.: Max totality

3:09:54 p.m.: Totality ends

3:25 p.m.: Closing ceremonies

3:30 p.m.: Astronaut and driver autograph session

4 p.m.: Gates close

4:23:13 p.m.: Partial ends

4:30 p.m.: NASA broadcast concludes

Public Access

With ticket purchases stemming from 47 states, stretching as far away as 14 non-U.S. countries, and inclusive of children 18 and under who are admitted free with a paying adult, IMS projects upwards of 35,000 - 50,000 guests in attendance.

Don’t be left in the dark! Purchase your ticket – available in advance online and at the door.

Parking is free in the infield and Lots 2 and 3, as well as the Main Gate lot. Food and beverage will be available for purchase in Pagoda Plaza concession stands. Spectators also can bring food and drink, following IMS guidelines.

Eclipse viewing glasses, named “The Greatest Spectacles,” will be complimentary and made available to all guests upon entry.