Though an annular solar eclipse–where the moon passes between the sun and the earth creating a “ring of fire” effect–isn’t necessarily a rare occurrence, the chance for prime-time viewing from your backyard is another story. Our little corner of Texas has become the subject of national headlines as the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse, which won’t occur again in the continental U.S. until 2039, will be visible from the Gulf Coast for a maximum time of 5 minutes and 2 seconds, making the Coastal Bend the location with the longest duration of annularity.
Though the viewing window is short, the community has put together several celestial-themed viewing parties and extravaganzas to celebrate:
Eclipse Parties at Local Libraries
Eclipse viewing parties will be held on Oct. 14 at Hopkins Public Library at 11 a.m., at McDonald Public Library at 11:15 a.m. and at the Harte Public Library at 11:30 a.m.
Solar Eclipse Party at Lazy Beach Brewing
Head to Lazy Beach Brewing at 11 a.m. for a solar eclipse party. Tickets are $12 and include glow sticks, eclipse viewing glasses and a pint of beer.
Flight Deck Viewing from USS Lexington
The first 100 visitors aboard the USS Lexington with a general admission ticket will receive free solar eclipse glasses and standing-room access to the flight deck for viewing.
Valero Eclipse Extravaganza at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
The Corpus Christi Astronomical Society, the Museum’s celestial partner, will focus its telescope on the stellar event, and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., the Museum’s science educators will present STEM-focused experiments and demonstrations. Safety glasses will be provided to the first 1,100 guests.
Fun with the Sun at La Palmera
La Palmera will host a family-friendly party inside the mall on the Upper Level where guests will enjoy arts and crafts, a Glitter Bar with Bloom Beauty Studio, cosmic cookie decorating with Great American Cookies, a solar selfie station and incense samples from Earthbound Trading Co., as well as a DJ spinning a solar-themed playlist and prize giveaways.
View the Eclipse on Your Own
Thousands of eclipse enthusiasts have flocked to the coast for this momentous occasion, so be sure to factor in crowds and traffic when planning where you will be watching. A few places to consider viewing include Mustang Island, Padre Island National Seashore and anywhere along the bayfront. Wherever you decide to watch, get settled in well before 11:55 a.m., with eclipse glasses on, ready to stare into the sun.
The weather is forecasted to be sunny with a high of 82, but keep your fingers crossed for 100% visibility. If the conditions don’t fall in our favor, we’ll see you in Alaska in 2039 for another chance. Happy viewing!