Get Ready for the Solar Eclipses!

Not one but two solar eclipses are headed to Texas in 2023 and 2024!

The first, happening October 14, will be an annular eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the moon doesn’t cover the entire sun but will instead appear like a dot in front of the sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect. Some of the cities in Texas that will see the annular eclipse include Midland, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. Other cities will get to experience a partial eclipse on the 14th. The next eclipse, on April 8, 2024, will be a total eclipse. Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin (especially the Hill Country) will be in the path of totality, meaning that those cities will get to experience the moon completely covering the sun. Plenty of other cities across Texas will once again experience a partial eclipse.

There are a lot of ways to experience this rare opportunity, from reading books to participating in citizen science projects to making eclipse-related arts and crafts. One citizen science project we want to highlight is the Eclipse Soundscapes project. For both the annular and total eclipses, you can record audio, or record written observations using all your senses of what happens during the eclipse and submit your findings to the Eclipse Soundscapes team. For more information and how to participate, visit https://eclipsesoundscapes.org/.

Remember that safety comes first when observing any eclipse. Never look directly at the sun without protective eclipse glasses; you can also use an indirect method of viewing the eclipse like a camera obscura (also known as a pinhole camera).

Books to read:

AMERICAN ECLIPSE: A NATION’S EPIC RACE TO CATCH THE SHADOW OF THE MOON AND WIN THE GLORY OF THE WORLD by David Baron (DBC13007)

MASK OF THE SUN: THE SCIENCE, HISTORY, AND FORGOTTEN LORE OF ECLIPSES by John Dvorak (DB88411)

ECLIPSE CHASER: SCIENCE IN THE MOON’S SHADOW by Ilima Loomis (DB109047). For grades 5-8.

ASTRONOMY LAB FOR KIDS: 52 FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES by Michelle Nichols (DB108159). For grades 3-6.

Websites to visit: