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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Inside the Great Lakes Science Center, a very little girl with a very big name was shooting for the stars and all the planets that are in the way.

“Well, I like looking at the moon. We sort of looked at Jupiter and Venus. I could actually see the rings.” 10-year-old Cordelia Hessler said.

And Cordelia had a chance to sort of hold a star in her hand.

A demonstration showed one of the many different ways and things she could use to “catch the sun” — which will be a necessary skill, because the biggest celestial event in Ohio history is a just about a year away.

The Great Lakes Science Center and NASA have started the countdown to the great total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

The total solar eclipse will cut right across the country — from Texas and all across Ohio; from the Indiana border; and through Lorain County — with the longest duration in Avon Lake.

It will be a big, cool thing to see, so spreading the news and the knowledge is key — so much so that even that astronauts Stephen Bowen and Frank Rubio took time out from their work on the International Space Station to give the Cleveland area a big “howdy-do.”

“Be prepared to experience darkness in day time for the three minutes and 50 seconds, when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth just above your city’s skyline,” Bowen said.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is the NASA sunspot, meaning they will throw one of the biggest viewing parties when the eclipse comes and, along with the Great Lakes Science Center, will take a lead role in education and fun.

“We don’t want anyone to be left unaware of it and not just to be aware of it themselves but to come and celebrate with us, ” Education Specialist Chris Hartenstein said. “This is going to be a massive community event in a year, and we’re going to be out on the front lawn as well.”

Science is cool, especially science you can hold in your hand or make yourself. It’s inspiring.

And watching a total solar eclipse unfold will be a unique treat for everyone — generating knowledge, sure, but also inspiring people to reach for the sky and know that you may one day get there.

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