AUSTIN (KXAN) — An annular solar eclipse will be visible across skies in Texas on Oct. 14, and Texas State Parks will offer prime viewing opportunities for the unique event.
Due to the eclipse’s anticipated popularity, entry to state parks on the day of the eclipse will be restricted to those who pre-purchased day passes or camping permits, according to TPWD.
The agency said a state park pass does not guarantee entry, and it recommends people reserve a campsite or day pass as soon as possible.
The annular eclipse will pass over the state from Midland/Odessa to Corpus Christi, according to TPWD. Seventeen Texas State Parks will be along the eclipse’s path.
An eclipse happens 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,” the release said in part.
The moon will begin blocking the sun around 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 14, with the ring of fire coming visible around 11:40 a.m. along the Texas-New Mexico border, according to TPWD.
Then, the eclipse will travel southeast across the state, the release said. The duration of totality varies depending on the vantage point, ranging from a few seconds to five minutes, according to TPWD.
“The closer you are to the eclipse’s path, the longer you will be able to enjoy the ring of fire,” TPWD said.
State parks in eclipse path of totality
- Big Spring
- Choke Canyon
- Devils River – Del Norte Unit
- 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
How to prepare for the eclipse at a Texas State Park
- Plan to arrive early and stay late, as traffic delays at parks anticipate visitors from across the state and the nation, the agency said.
- You should also bring enough food, water and fuel in case of delays, the release said.
- Park in designated areas only, and stay off roadways for safety. Don’t park off the pavement unless directed to by park staff.
- Lastly, the agency recommends attending a park program, as many parks offer ranger-led programs before or after an eclipse.