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Solar Eclipse: A Natural Phenomenon

solar eclipse

There will be a solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 between the hours of noon and 2pm Central. Visibility in The Woodlands area and Houston will peak at 1:16pm when the eclipse will cover about 67% of the sun.

Remembering back to our elementary school science days, the definition of a solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and sun, thus shadowing the sun and making it dark during the middle of the day. Eclipses happen quite frequently but can only be seen in certain parts of the world, so a total solar eclipse in visible in the Houston area hasn’t happened since 1979. The next solar eclipse that will pass through Texas will be on April 8, 2024 and will have excellent visibility in the Houston area.

When viewing a solar eclipse, it is important to remember that looking directly at the sun can damage your eyes. Regular sunglasses aren’t equipped to shield your eyes, so if you wish to view the eclipse for more than a couple seconds, grab a pair of special eclipse glasses. These eclipse viewers, filters or glasses are inexpensive and you can find them at most stores like WalMart, Target, and BestBuy. However, a wider selection and possibly better inventory can be found if you shop online. Make sure you purchase a filter that is compliant with the international safety standard ISO 12312-2. Kids will be in school during the eclipse, as it will happen on a Monday afternoon. Send your child to school with their eclipse filter in their backpack.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is holding special eclipse viewing parties throughout the day. They will show eclipse videos in the planetarium, including a live feed from participants on their “field trip” to Wyoming where the eclipse will be total.

So cross your fingers for good weather on August 21 so we can see this natural phenomenon in The Woodlands for the first time in 38 years!