Hill Country Eclipse Portal

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That's a wrap - the Solar Eclipse has ended!

After many years of planning, the celestial fun has come to an end. However, just because the eclipse is over doesn't mean we have no reason to celebrate. Our region's stars are something to celebrate every night of the year! Click here to learn more about our efforts to protect starry night skies for future generations.

Want to find a new home for your gently used solar glasses? Click here to explore a list of places you can recycle and donate your solar glasses through Astronomer Without Borders. And don't forget - you can still use them to see the sun even when there's not a solar eclipse!

The Annular and Total Solar Eclipses of Texas

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse crossed the State of Texas, casting the Hill Country into shadow under a ring of fire. Less than six months later, we are excited again to witness an even bigger spectacle, the total solar eclipse of Monday, April 8, 2024.

Images courtesy TimeandDate.com

The 2023 eclipse path of annularity began on the coast of Oregon and swept northwest to southeast across the United States. It entered Texas, crossing over the Panhandle Plains and the Permian Basin, and made its way down to the Gulf Coast. In the Hill Country, it was 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 lasted 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.

Eclipse Questions Answered

In this short video, Hill Country Alliance’s Dawn Davies and Leah Cuddeback answer some of your burning eclipse questions – from where you should be to best see the total solar eclipse to what you can expect during totality! Click here to watch the full video on YouTube.

Click here to view a recent newsletter round-up of our most relevant resources so you can be prepared!

2024 Total Solar Eclipse Countdown

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But wait…what is an eclipse?

Click to view or download this PDF

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.

And what is the Texas Hill Country?

The Texas Hill Country is a unique geographic region that people have called home for more than 14,000 years. At the Hill Country Alliance (HCA), we are dedicated to ensuring current and future generations have the opportunity to experience, enjoy, and benefit from the remarkable beauty of the Hill Country we know and love. Our mission is to bring together a diverse coalition of partners to preserve the open spaces, starry night skies, clean and abundant waters, and the unique character of the Texas Hill Country.

Our work at the Hill Country Alliance is divided into four program areas:
Land: Advancing local land stewardship and conservation
Water: Preserving clear and flowing waters
Night Skies: Protecting our view of the starry night sky
Communities: Supporting thriving rural and urban communities

In addition to our work as a standalone organization, the Hill Country Alliance serves as the convener and fiscal sponsor of the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network, a broad coalition of organizations and agencies who have come together to advance shared goals for conservation of the region. Learn more about the Network at OurTXHillCountry.org

Like what you see? Help protect it! Donate to the Hill Country Alliance and support our work for the Texas Hill Country. 

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Eclipse Lunch and Learn Series

Planning for one solar eclipse is a challenge. Preparing for two back-to-back solar eclipses requires information, organization, and communication beyond the quarterly Hill Country Eclipse Round Table Meetings. To further support our partners and communities, HCA convenes bi-weekly lunch and learn sessions to discuss niche topics specific to eclipse readiness. For more information and to register for the series, click here.

Come for the sun, stay for the stars – and help support the Texas Hill Country!

The Hill Country Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country. Learn more about our work by subscribing to our newsletter.