This weekend on Saturday, October 14th, an extraordinary celestial event will unfold as the moon passes directly between the Earth and sun, casting its shadow across parts of the Western Hemisphere in an annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse.
The path of the moon’s shadow will begin over the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico before making landfall along the coasts of Oaxaca and Guerrero. It will then traverse north and east across Mexico into Texas, taking between 4 and 5 hours to cross both countries from coast to coast.
Unlike a total solar eclipse where the moon fully obscures the sun, this will be an annular eclipse where the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun due to its farther distance in orbit, leaving a halo of sunlight still visible around the moon’s edges. This creates the visually stunning “ring of fire” effect as the moon passes
The eclipse will be
In the US, the eclipse will reach maximum duration over Texas, where it can be viewed for approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds in cities like Austin and San Antonio before the phenomenon ends near Beaumont. States like New Mexico and Oklahoma will witness partial phases of the eclipse.
For Indigenous communities whose lands fall under the eclipse’s path, such as the Navajo Nation in the US Southwest, these celestial events carry sacred meanings and require certain rituals or practices to show respect. Some tribal parks and lands will be closed to outside visitors during the eclipse to honor their cultural traditions.
Safety remains paramount for viewing solar eclipses. Even during an annular eclipse, looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage. Safe methods include using specially designed solar filters or an indirect viewing technique like projecting the eclipse onto a screen through a pinhole.
For those unable to witness this rare “ring of fire” eclipse in person, NASA will livestream the event on its website for the world to experience. After this weekend, the next annular solar eclipse over North America occurs in October 2023 followed by a total eclipse passing from Mexico to the US and Canada in April 2024.
How to Safely View the Eclipse
It is never safe to look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection, even during an eclipse! Below are some safe solar eclipse viewing options:
- Certified Solar Glasses – Special eclipse glasses that block 100% of harmful rays. Make sure they have the ISO safety certification.
- Pinhole Projectors – A simple DIY device that projects the eclipse onto a surface.
- Solar Telescopes/Binoculars – Special solar filters are required on optical devices.
- Indirect Viewing – Looking at the sunlight filtered through a tree onto the ground. DO NOT look at the Sun rays filtering through leaves!
- Livestream Viewing – Watch online streams from telescopes and locations along the eclipse path for a safe viewing experience.
Solar Eclipse 2023 Texas: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where will the solar eclipse be visible in Texas?
A: The path of totality will cross through central Texas, including Del Rio, San Angelo, Abilene and Wichita Falls. A partial eclipse will be visible elsewhere in the state.
Q: When will the 2023 eclipse happen in Texas?
A: The eclipse will start after 10:24 AM, with the total phase occurring between 11:35 AM and 11:48 AM depending on your location in Texas.
Q: How long will the total solar eclipse last in Texas?
A: Maximum totality duration is 4 minutes 33 seconds near Junction, Texas. Total eclipse length will be shorter nearer the path limits.
Q: What precautions should you take to view the solar eclipse?
A: Never look directly at the Sun without approved solar filters. Use certified eclipse glasses, a pinhole camera, or indirect viewing methods only.
Q: Will I need to travel to see the total solar eclipse?
A: If you are outside the narrow path of totality, you will only witness a partial eclipse. To see the full total eclipse, you must be within the path travelling across central Texas.
Q: When is the next total solar eclipse visible from Texas?
A: After 2023, the next total solar eclipse in Texas will occur on March 30, 2033. The path will cross northeast Texas near DFW and Texarkana.