Indiana: Observed

Posted on Feb 29 2024 in Travel
Person looking through telescope

By Natalie Derrickson

Catch a glimpse of the total solar eclipse or pick up a new pastime while exploring Indiana’s observatories.

The zone of totality slices through the Hoosier state on April 8. Get a front-row seat with a visit to one of Indiana’s observatories open to the public.

Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium


A central Indiana standby for over 60 years, Butler University’s Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium is one of the largest public observatories in the world. Stop by for a weekend visit or attend the Eclipse Viewing Festival on April 8 from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Festival goers can access telescopes outfitted with solar filters for safe observation, chat with scientific experts, and enjoy demonstrations. For more information, visit

Kirkwood Observatory


Built in 1900, the Kirkwood Observatory houses a solar telescope, offering otherwise impossible views of sunspots and solar flares. Open monthly for public viewing, undergraduate students host guests on Wednesday evenings during the school year. Enjoy a live-stream view of the sun from Kirkwood’s solar telescope on Eclipse Day. Visit to learn more.

McKim Observatory


Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, DePauw University’s McKim Observatory still uses many of its original instruments, dating back to the late 1800s. Primarily used by students, McKim welcomes guests during scheduled open houses and for group tours. Visit for open house dates and details.

Oakley Observatory

Terre Haute

This multipurpose observatory, located on the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus, welcomes the astronomically curious to explore the night sky during its regular open houses. If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, view the live webcam from the observatory at using the credentials “public” and password “Observatory.”

Natalie Derrickson is a freelance writer from Indianapolis.