Sarah Reap
Eclipse phenomena to view at Crater of Diamonds State Park
Eclipse phenomena to view at Crater of Diamonds State Park

The event in this article has already occurred and you can find other great happenings on our events page.

Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! For some, viewing a total solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event. On April 8, Crater of Diamonds State Park will be one of Arkansas’s premier locations to experience the 2024 Great North American Eclipse. This event will be unique and spectacular, bringing along with it several “phenomena” that viewers should be aware to look for before, during and after totality.

Remember to use proper eye protection when viewing the eclipse. Solar eclipse glasses will be sold at the visitor center while supplies last. These glasses have a special tint that reduces visible light of the partial eclipse to levels that are safe to view. Sunglasses and welding masks with a shade number lower than 12 are not dark enough to protect your eyes from damage.

At Crater of Diamonds State Park, the eclipse will start at 12:30 p.m. Viewers will be able to use solar eclipse glasses to watch as the moon gradually moves in front of the sun. As the eclipse continues, it will still be daylight but the brightness of the sun will dim slightly as the eclipse progresses.

15 minutes before totality, viewers will notice a shift in the amount of daylight and a drop in temperature as the moon passes further in front of the sun. Take this time to look around and notice how things change. During this time birds and insects may act differently too. Birds that are active during the daytime may be less vocal while nocturnal birds and insects, such as owls and crickets, may be heard.

Minutes before totality the amount of daylight will be minimal. As the moon moves in front of the sun, viewers may be able to spot the moon’s shadow as it approaches. The eclipse is not yet at full totality, so keep those glasses on.

One of the most extraordinary phenomena occurs seconds before totality and only lasts for a brief flash. Baily’s Beads, also known as the diamond ring effect, happens right as the moon passes fully in front of the sun, blocking out every bit of light. As the moon blots out the entire sun, the last little slivers of light will peek through, forming sparkling beads of light right on the edge. This occurrence will be brief and some spots of sunlight will still be coming through, so keep your glasses on. Imagine viewing the sun as a diamond ring at Crater of Diamonds State Park!

Now for the time we have all been waiting for, totality is here! Totality, the time during which the moon completely covers the sun, will last from 1:47 p.m. to 1:51 p.m. at the park. During totality, the park will fall under dusk-type darkness. This is the only time that you will be able to look without your solar eclipse glasses. Totality only lasts for a few minutes, but throughout look for a white glimmering light surrounding the sun. This is the sun’s upper atmosphere or corona, and during totality is one of the only times you can view it with the naked eye.

Following totality, the moon will continue on its path and move farther away from the sun, but the eclipse is not over! Just like during the lead-up to totality, a partial eclipse will still be visible through your solar eclipse glasses.

Viewing the 2024 Great North American Eclipse from Crater of Diamonds State Park is sure to be a unique and exciting event, but there are plentiful opportunities to experience the Crater of Diamonds if you can’t be here on April 8!

Due to the popularity of this event and for the safety of all guests and staff, visitation to Crater of Diamonds State Park will be limited on Monday, April 8, and purchase of online admission will be required to enter the park that day. Visitation will not be restricted in the days leading up to or following the eclipse event. Tickets for Eclipse Day may only be purchased from

After entry on April 8, visitors may travel throughout the park and diamond search area but will not be allowed to reenter once exiting onto Arkansas Highway 301 until after 3 p.m., so make sure to bring everything with you that you need that day.

For more information, call Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or email [email protected]. For more information on activities and lodging in and around Murfreesboro, visit