Residents of some Texas and New Mexico cities will be in an excellent place to see the solar eclipse on Saturday, October 14, along with a second eclipse next year. In El Paso, people can see a partial solar eclipse.
The first, an annular eclipse, will travel from Oregon to Texas, surrounding the Moon in a brilliant ring of fire because it is unable to completely cover the Sun. The second eclipse will be on April 8, 2024, and it will be a total eclipse that will move from Texas to Maine, according to the mcdonaldobservatory.org website.
Depending on where they live in Texas, residents will have an 80 to 100% view of the eclipse. The state will be under the X sign of the eclipse paths, and it should enjoy clear weather on those dates.
People who go out to experience the eclipse may feel that the air is getting cooler, and it will be like twilight. They may hear crickets and night birds calling.
It’s been six years since the last time, so it’s worth getting excited about again. Here’s your guide to the solar eclipse on Saturday, October 14.
When is the next solar eclipse?
The eclipse will begin at 9:15 a.m. GMT, reach its maximum at 10:39 a.m. and end at 12:14 p.m.
What happens when you look at a solar eclipse?
During a partial or annular solar eclipse, such as the one that occurred on October 14, there is no time when it is safe to look directly at the sun without adequate eye protection.
Adequate eye protection includes eclipse glasses and viewers. Make sure it meets international eye protection standards (ISO 12312-2), is certified free of scratches or other defects. Welding Glass: No. 13 or 14 welding glass provides protection and visibility.
Looking at a solar eclipse without eye protection can lead to blindness. You may lose your sight temporarily or permanently. Regular sunglasses are not a good alternative.
How to watch a solar eclipse safely
Walmart and Home Depots carry cardboard solar eclipse glasses. Amazon also sells different brands of eclipse glasses. A package of 10 Soluna-certified glasses costs $19.99.
Make sure to purchase solar filters designed according to international standards for eye protection (ISO 12312-2).
Do not use sunglasses or cameras to view the solar eclipse. Make sure to wear solar eclipse glasses over your prescription lenses when viewing the eclipse.
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Where to get the best view of the eclipse?
Residents of El Pasoans and Juárez will be able to see a partial solar eclipse, with about 84% coverage of the sun, and Las Cruces at 85.7%. Carlsbad residents will be able to see the annular solar eclipse, with an obscuration rate of 89.8%, according to experts at the McDonald Observatory.
During an annular eclipse, even if you are directly in the middle of the path (meaning the Moon and Sun are most closely aligned, with the Moon appearing at its center inside the Sun), about 10% of the Sun will be visible, shining around the Moon. This means that places like Midland, which is located along the center line, will see an annular eclipse with 89.8% of the Sun covered and 10.1% of the Sun shining around the Moon in a “ring of fire.”
In Texas, the best cities to see 100% of the eclipse are San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Midland and Odessa. In New Mexico, the best cities to view the solar eclipse will be Carlsbad, Roswell, Albuquerque and Gallup. To see what other cities are seeing, click here.
What happens during a solar eclipse?
As the Moon orbits the Earth, it sometimes moves between the Sun and the Earth. When this happens, the moon casts a shadow on Earth, completely or partially blocking sunlight in some areas. This is a solar eclipse.
Scientists say we can experience a solar eclipse because of an incredible astronomical coincidence – the apparent size of the Sun and Moon is the same when viewed from Earth. This is because although the Sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than the Moon’s diameter, the Moon is also 400 times closer to us than the Sun.
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Get free glasses for viewing the eclipse at El Paso libraries
El Paso Public Libraries will offer free eclipse viewing glasses to sky watchers starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 14 at all library branches.
Branch library staff will distribute one pair of glasses per family. In addition, some library branches will offer free story time, crafts, and programs related to the eclipse.
For more information visit www.ElPasoLibrary.org.
Solar eclipse activities in Midland, Austin, Fort Davis, and Carlsbad
Although only a partial solar eclipse will be visible at Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory will host eclipse activities at the Frank N. Bash Visitor Center. The Visitor Center will open at 10 a.m. to allow entry during the eclipse.
In Austin, the University of Texas will hold a public event featuring interactive demonstrations, telescopes, food trucks and science-themed tunes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the main mall south of the UT Tower.
McDonald Observatory will be in Midland to view the October 14 solar eclipse.
Staff will conduct solar eclipse-related activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Blackmore Planetarium at the Southwest Museum, 1705 W. Missouri Ave., Midland. Participants will receive free eclipse viewers. Telescopes will be created to view solar energy. The planetarium will have a live broadcast.
The event will include talks by retired NASA astronaut John Herrington and kid-friendly activities presented by McDonald Observatory, NuMinds Enrichment, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas Tech University.
All Eclipse activities and talks will be free. More information: www.museumsw.org/event-details/Eclipse-day.
Inspired by Science will have a free solar eclipse viewing party from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on October 14 at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, 401-1 Cascades Ave. In Carlsbad.
The telescope will be specially equipped with a solar filter for safe close-up viewing. There will also be certified eclipse viewers to take home. Take the kids to build a solar-powered car and see how the eclipse affects them. Supplies are limited.
There will be community learning tables with some additional activities. Food trucks will be on site. Information: Inspiredbyscience.org
US Close 70 for Solar Eclipse
The White Sands Missile Range supports three research rockets to capture scientific data about a solar eclipse. US 70 is scheduled to be closed from 9:35 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on October 14.
This block will be located at Blue Block (two miles east of the WSMR Access Road – mile 172) and Willow Block (located near White Sands National Park, mile 200), according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation District 2 (NMDOT) office) along with a range of White Sands missiles.
For updates: Call WSMR at 575-678-2221/2222 or go to www.nmroads.com
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Sources: www.astronomy.com, www.mcdonaldobservatory.org
Maria Cortes Gonzalez can be reached at 915-546-6150, [email protected] and @EPTMaria on Twittany.
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