These Texas Parks Offer Best Viewing of October’s Solar Eclipse
Two major solar events will be happening over Texas within the next seven months.
The one getting most of the hype is the total solar eclipse that will cut a swath through central and northeast Texas on April 8, 2024. However, an impressive annular solar eclipse will be darkening the Texas skies in less than a month on October 14.
What Is An Annular Eclipse?
An eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth align. During an annular eclipse, the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun. Those viewing in the area covered by 100% totality, will see the illusion of a 'ring of fire' in the sky.
On October 14, the moon will begin to block the sun around 10:20 a.m. (Central time) with the ring of fire becoming visible around 11:40 a.m. along the Texas-New Mexico border. The eclipse will then travel southeastward across the state.
Lufkin/Nacogdoches will see about an 80% coverage of the moon over the sun. The sun should appear as a crescent near noontime across much of East Texas.
The duration of totality will vary depending on your vantage point, ranging from a few seconds to five minutes. The closer you are to the eclipse’s path, the longer you will be able to enjoy the ring of fire.
The sunlight will certainly dim, but the dusklight darkness that comes from a total solar eclipse will not occur. Still, this will be the first time an annular eclipse has visited the United States since May 2012. Plus, viewing an annular eclipse in the totality area should be on your bucket list.
An Idea from Texas Parks & Wildlife
The folks at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department are reminding folks that there are 17 Texas State Parks along the path of greatest eclipse visibility. Those parks extend from the Midland/Odessa area all the way to Corpus Christi
Officials highly encourage you to reserve a day pass at one of these state parks, but spaces are going quickly. These 17 parks are expected to reach capacity soon.
Due to its anticipated popularity, entry to these parks on 'eclipse day' will be restricted to those who pre-purchased day passes or camping permits. A state park pass does not guarantee your entry. It is recommended that you reserve your campsite or day pass as soon as possible.
State Parks in Totality Eclipse Area
- Big Spring
- Choke Canyon
- Devils River - Del Norte Unit
- Goose Island
- Government Canyon
- Guadalupe River
- Hill Country
- Kickapoo Cavern
- Lake Corpus Christi
- Lost Maples
- Monahans Sandhills
- Mustang Island
- Old Tunnel
- San Angelo
- South Llano River
The entire state will be able to see a significant partial eclipse from their own backyards, so if you can’t get to a state park, visit the Texas State Parks eclipse viewing webpage to learn how to make a pinhole viewer for out-of-this-world family fun.