Texas State Parks offer prime viewing for upcoming annular eclipse

by SOURCE Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Austin--Less than a month remains until a much-anticipated annular solar eclipse graces Texas skies. On Saturday, Oct. 14, an annular eclipse will pass over the state from Midland/Odessa to Corpus Christi, with 17 Texas State Parks along its path of greatest eclipse visibility. Visitors planning to visit state parks along the path are highly encouraged to reserve a day pass in advance since they will likely reach capacity.

An eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth align in space. During an annular eclipse, the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun, covering only a portion of it. This creates the illusion of a ring of fire in the sky.

On Oct. 14, the moon will begin to block the sun around 10:20 a.m. 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. 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.

Texas State Parks provide an ideal setting to enjoy this rare astronomical sight. Due to its anticipated popularity, entry to the parks listed below 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. We recommend you reserve your campsite or day pass as soon as possible.

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 Texas State Parks eclipse viewing webpage to learn how to make a pinhole viewer for out-of-this-world family fun.

State Parks in Totality:

Big Spring

Choke Canyon

Devils River - Del Norte Unit

Garner

Goliad

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.

To maximize your eclipse viewing experience at a Texas State Park, we recommend the following:

Make safety a priority. You must use eye protection to view any part of the annular eclipse. You can pre-purchase eclipse glasses or use an indirect observation method like a pinhole viewer. Please note that eclipse glasses will be available for purchase at many parks, but quantities are limited.

Come early and stay late. Expect traffic delays as parks anticipate visitors from across the state and nation.

Pack more than a snack. Plan to bring enough food, water and fuel in case of delays.

Park in designated areas only. Stay off roadways for your safety. Do not park off pavement unless directed by park staff.

Attend a park program. Many parks will offer ranger-led programs before or after the eclipse.



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