Everything you need to know for the Central Texas solar eclipse on Aug. 21

Regional eclipse viewing parties planned


Come lunchtime on Monday, Aug. 21, you might notice the light outside suddenly shifting as a new moon moves into the path of the sun, creating a large shadow.

While we’re far from the path of totality in North America — Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be getting some of the best seats in the house this year — in our area in Northwest Austin, we will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse. Hopeful eclipse watchers from our area would need to travel about 618 miles north east  to view a total eclipse.

The last time an eclipse was this widely visible across the United States was in 1979. The next eclipse will take place in April 8, 2024, and Austin will be within the path of totality that year.

Here’s some tips on how, where and when to observe the upcoming solar eclipse:

  • Solar filter glasses are the only safe option for observing a partial eclipse. A pair are normally only a few dollars and can be bought in bundles.

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

  • Always supervise children using solar filters.

  • Regular sunglasses and homemade eclipse viewers are not safe, and may put your eyesight at risk.

  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.

  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

Here’s what will happen: As the eclipse begins,  the moon will move between the Earth and the sun from the top, north end. In our area, at the height of the eclipse, the sun will only be partially obscured. About 69.5 percent of the sun will be blocked during the eclipse’s peak, which will occur for us at 1:10 p.m. After the peak, the moon will begin to move out west of the path of the sun, restoring everything to normal.

Where to watch the eclipse in Central Texas:


Texas Museum of Science & Technology Viewing,

10 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

1220 Toro Grande Drive


Round Rock Public Library Eclipse Party

12 - 2 p.m.

221 East Main St.


University of Texas Viewing

11:41 a.m.-2:39 p.m.,

Robert Lee Moore Hall, 2515 Speedway, Austin