After 'ring of fire' eclipse, Texas gears up for total solar eclipse in April

Texas towns of Rocksprings, Kerryville, Junction and Uvalde are within the path of totality for the April 8 total solar eclipse.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – After witnessing the spectacular "ring of fire" solar eclipse in October, Texas is preparing for a total solar eclipse in six months, considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

On Saturday, the annular solar eclipse passed over San Antonio, including historic landmarks such as The Alamo, wowing viewers with the "ring of fire" the eclipse is known for. 

Planetarium Coordinator Michelle Risse with the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College said the clouds parted just in time for eclipse watchers to see the maximum eclipse known as annularity


"At first, we had a lot of cloud cover, and people were getting tense. But then the clouds dissipated just shortly before the annularity hit, and you could just hear the excitement roar as the clouds opened up so we could see the annular eclipse," Risse said.

Risse said more than 3,000 people came out to the planetarium's La Fiesta de Sol event to witness 90% of the Sun briefly disappear behind the Moon. 

X marks the spot in Texas

Part of San Antonio will again be in the path of a solar eclipse in April.

A total solar eclipse will cross North America on April 8, passing over Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, putting Central Texas in the crosshairs of two solar eclipses in six months. 

The NASA map above shows the path of the Oct. 14, 2023, annular eclipse and the upcoming total solar eclipse in April 2024.

A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth at its closest point in its elliptical orbit of the Earth. During a total eclipse, the Moon will completely block the face of the Sun, and only the solar corona will be visible. Totality is the only time during a solar eclipse when it's safe to remove your solar eclipse glasses.


Risse said the Scobee Education Center is already preparing for the big event. The college will partner with Northwest Vista College in San Antonio for another eclipse celebration. 

"The planetarium is not in the path of totality because, as you can see on the map, it bisects San Antonio. So the west side of San Antonio is in the path of totality, but not the east side," she said. "And since we're downtown San Antonio, we have to go to the west side where our sister colleges and we're going to host a big event there."

Rocksprings, Kerryville, Junction and Uvalde are all within the path of totality for April 8. 

Now is the time to start planning if you want to see the total solar eclipse in person. Risse said the excitement is already building for the next eclipse over Texas. 

"I know Kerryville has been inundated by people across the United States to make a trip down there because they want to be in the path of totality and get the most of it," Risse said. "But ultimately, if you can find a good place around the path of totality across the United States, please go. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

April’s eclipse will be the last chance to witness a total solar eclipse in the U.S. until August 2045.