Totality is Coming Soon to Texas!

Posted by Whole Earth | 03.15.2024

A dramatic photo of a total eclipse of the sun with clouds.



Totality is Coming Soon to Texas!


April 8th is the big day for the total solar eclipse in Texas, and folks are coming from all over the country for the experience. This rare event won't be seen here in Texas again until 2044. The path of totality includes western San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. Sorry Houston. You'll be seeing a partial eclipse with 94% of the sun covered by the moon.


The path of totality starts at Mazatlan, Mexico and ends in Saint Pierre, Newfoundland, a distance of almost 3200 miles. The shadow of totality will travel the distance in roughly two hours and thirty minutes. To get a sense of how fast the shadow of the total eclipse is moving compare these times. Totality arrives in San Antonio at 1:34 pm, in Austin at 1:37pm, and Dallas at 1:42pm. The duration of totality is less than a minute in San Antonio, 1:46 in Austin, and 3:52 in Dallas. Use this handy website to calculate eclipse data for your viewing spot. Below is a photo of the moon's shadow cast on Antarctica during a total solar eclipse captured by a NASA satellite.  


The shadow of the moon cast on Antarctica during a total solar eclipse courtesy of NASA


Central Texas towns and counties in the path of totality have been announcing disaster declarations for April 8th that will allow them to increase the number of emergency responders available on the day. The declarations are based on the experiences of towns and cities in the aftermath of the 2017 eclipse that also crossed the US. Large crowds may create monumental traffic jams along with possible shortages of gas and food. On the bright side, most school kids in the path of the eclipse will have the day off!


So, what does this mean for you? If you're planning to travel to a viewing site out of town, get there early and be ready to stay put afterwards. The traffic jams are created when everyone tries to return home at once. Other helpful hints: fill up your gas tank before the weekend, if possible. Gas supplies may be overwhelmed by visitors. Run errands like grocery shopping over the weekend to help keep traffic running smoothly on Monday.


If you're planning to stay home for the eclipse, look for an open area like a school playground or park within walking or quick driving distance from home. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Don't forget your solar eclipse glasses or pin hole camera to view the partial eclipse safely. Here are NASA's Solar Eclipse Safety Tips.


Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

Courtesy of NASA


It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse.


View the Sun through eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer during the partial eclipse phases before and after totality.


You can view the eclipse directly without proper eye protection ONLY when the Moon completely obscures the Sun’s bright face – during the brief and spectacular period known as totality. You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.


Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.


As soon as you see even a little bit of the bright Sun reappear after totality, immediately put your eclipse glasses back on or use a handheld solar viewer to look at the Sun.


Be prepared with Celestron Eclipsmart Solar Eclipse Glasses

from your favorite Whole Earth store!

(Sorry in-store pickup only - supplies are limited.)





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