What is an eclipse?
Eclipses occur when one object passes in front of another or when an object passes in between two aligned objects. Many objects in our solar system can eclipse each other; however, our Moon, our Sun, and the Earth are most important to us. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. For a solar eclipse to occur, the Moon must pass in between the Earth and the Sun. This passing casts a shadow on the Earth, and only those in the shadow can witness the eclipse. When the Moon is furthest from us (at apogee), only part of the Sun is covered, and this is known as an annular solar eclipse. When the Moon is closest to us (at perigee), the Sun is fully covered, yielding a total solar eclipse. Click here to learn more about solar eclipses.
Annular and Total Solar Eclipses coming to Texas
In the coming years, the Hill Country will play center stage to two phenomenal solar events. On Saturday, October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will occur. A total solar eclipse will take place almost six months later, on Monday, April 8, 2024. The 2023 eclipse path of annularity will begin on the coast of Oregon and sweep northwest to southeast across the United States. It will enter Texas crossing over the Panhandle Plains and the Permian Basin, making its way down to the Gulf Coast. In the Hill Country, it will be seen as far north as Fredericksburg, as far south as Uvalde, to the west in Rocksprings, and New Braunfels in the east. At the centerline, annularity will last just a few seconds shy of five minutes. Dripping Springs is in the path of 100% totality. The 2024 eclipse path of totality will play opposite to 2023, entering the United States and Texas at the southeasternmost tip of the Hill Country and making its way northeast, eventually departing up in the Piney Woods region of the state. While some eastern parts of Travis, Hays, Comal, and Bexar counties fall outside of the path of totality, their county’s western areas will bear witness, as will all the other counties of the Hill Country. Dripping Springs is in the path of 80% totality of the annual eclipse. At the centerline, observers will get almost four and a half minutes of totality.