Editor’s Note: The video at the top of this story discusses how the Oct. 14 annular eclipse will grace Austin City Limits festival-goers.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — We’re less than a week away from the first of two solar eclipses due to grace the skies over Central Texas. In April 2024, a total solar eclipse will plunge much of the area into darkness, but this Saturday, Oct. 14, an “annular eclipse” will provide parts of Central Texas with a “ring of fire” view around the moon.
An annular eclipse is different from a total solar eclipse, because at no time during an annular eclipse is the sun completely blocked, but in the path of annularity, the moon is directly in the middle of the sun with light surrounding the moon like a halo.
In a total solar eclipse, you’ll see the sun completely blocked by the moon.
Where’s the best viewing on Saturday?
For most of us, drive south or west if you want to see the annular eclipse at its best, but for those of you in parts of the Hill Country, you can stay right where you are!
Nationally speaking, the entire United States will get a partial eclipse at a minimum, but the annular eclipse will only be seen in the western and southwestern states.
What will I see where I live?
The answer to that depends. For most of the 15 counties that KXAN serves in Central Texas and including the City of Austin, you will see a partial solar eclipse where roughly 88% of the sun is covered by the moon leaving a sliver of sunshine making for a dim sky.
For parts of the Texas Hill Country, you get to see the best part — a ring of light around the moon. The annularity, as that ring is called, will only last around two minutes in Fredericksburg and surrounding areas.
When is it?
Generally speaking, the partial eclipse begins just before 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and it wraps up near 1:30 p.m. that afternoon. The maximum eclipse happens just before noon with the “ring of fire” seen in the Hill Country for only a matter of minutes.
What will the weather be late morning and midday on Saturday?
As a reminder, forecasts can change as new weather data gets a better handle on the forecast. For now, Saturday looks mostly sunny behind a cold front that pushes through late Thursday or early Friday.
Keep checking back with the First Warning Weather Team. It only takes one slow-moving cloud to ruin the roughly two minutes of annularity for those in the path.