Eclipse Citizen Scientists Call-Out – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Eclipse Citizen Scientists Call-Out

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Solar energy is responsible for so many processes on Earth’s surface.  From growing plants and driving water movement across the planet to providing heat and powering solar panels, solar energy plays a central role in almost everything.  On April 8, 2024, the total solar eclipse will be viewed across the Hoosier State.  Find out how you can help the Indiana Geological and Water Survey as a citizen scientist during the eclipse.

The Indiana Geological and Water Survey (IGWS) is measuring the energy from the sun at all the water balance stations ( in the Indiana Water Balance Network.  As part of the partnership with Purdue University’s State Climate Office and the Purdue Mesonet (, we are gathering data about the sun’s energy at 30 stations around the state, but there are many places in Indiana where there are no stations.  IGWS needs your help to populate a data set of light data across the state.  The eclipse on Monday, April 8, will be a unique period when we will lose several minutes of light during totality (3:01 pm EDT start of Totality in Western Indiana to 3:12 pm EDT end of totality in Eastern Indiana) and only a portion of the light during the partial eclipse running from 1:45 pm EDT start of partial on the west side of Indiana to 4:25 pm EDT end of partial on the east side of Indiana. This is a rare opportunity to research the associated loss of energy from the sun. We need data from days leading up to the eclipse to determine normal light levels this time of year during both sunny and cloudy days, from all hours of the day.

IGWS needs citizen scientists to capture information from the sun starting on the spring equinox (March 21) through a few days after the eclipse (April 10).  Hourly data is preferred, but any data will help.  Several free “lux meter” apps are available for iPhones and Androids.   Collect it on a lux meter app anytime you are outside and just make a note of the time; you can go back and report all data collections while at home or do it directly from your cellphone on our citizen survey  (

The results of this data can help us see variations in solar energy across the state, relate solar energy to light intensity, and provide data sets for school lessons about the sun, solar energy, and light.

The Indiana Geological and Water Survey (IGWS) is doing some unique science surrounding the eclipse. Visit the IGWS Eclipse Website ( to learn more.  Read more about it here ( and sign up for the IGWS newsletter (

Press Release written and provided by Ginger Davis, Research Geologist at Indiana Geological and Water Survey (contact:

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