Hill Country Eclipse Portal
Hill Country Eclipse Portal
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. The 2024 eclipse path of totality will play opposite to 2023, entering the United States and Texas at the southeastern-most 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. At the centerline, observers will get almost four and a half minutes of totality.
Quarterly Round Table Meetings
It is reasonable to expect hundreds of thousands of visitors in the Hill Country for the total solar eclipse of 2024. The last total solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 2017. It didn’t cross Texas, but visitors inundated the places it did. While these crowds tend to be respectful and well-behaved, their impacts on local communities, positive and negative, can be significant and call for considerable preparation. For this reason, the Hill Country Alliance is supporting the formation of task forces in each Hill Country county. Additionally, HCA is convening quarterly round table meetings of these task forces to update one another on preparations, coordinate activities, and resources where practical, and hear from professionals around the country who have experience with eclipse preparations. To learn more, email Dawn@hillcountryalliance.org.
County Eclipse Websites
Documents and Guides
Anatomy of a Total and Annular Solar Eclipse
City of Fredericksburg – Eclipse Meeting Agenda and Notes
Eclipse Central – Public Management Article (Dec 2017)
Eclipse Information – Carbondale, IL
Eclipse Partner Guide
Solar and Solar Eclipse Glossary
State of Idaho – 2017 Eclipse Community Planning White Paper
Round Table Meetings – Future
Q1 2023 – TBD
Q2 2023 – April 18
Q3 2023 – July 18
Q4 2023 – October 17
Q1 2024 – January 16
Round Table Meetings – Past
November 2022 Round Table Meeting – Recording: Taskforce Check-In, Documents: coming soon!
July 2022 Round Table Meeting – Recording: Taskforce Check-In, Documents: coming soon!
April 2022 Round Table Meeting – Recording: Taskforce Check-In
January 2022 Round Table Meeting – Recording: Taskforce Check-In, Documents: Agenda and Minutes
September 2021 Round Table Meeting A Personal Perspective on Eclipse Viewing
June 2021 Round Table Meeting Lessons Learned from Carbondale, Illinois 2017
March 2021 Roundtable Meeting Taskforce Check In
October 2020 Roundtable Meeting Solar Eclipses Over South Texas – Dr. Angela Speck, UT San Antonio