TYLER, Texas (KETK) - We are just days away from the first solar eclipse in the lower 48 states since February 26th, 1979. While East Texas will not be in 100% totality (darkness) when the eclipse happens, we will have nearly three-quarters of the sun blocked by the moon—leading to a period of near darkness and an amazing sight to see!
WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?
A solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, blocking light the sun emits to Earth. This blocking allows the moon to cast a shadow to Earth, allowing for a period of darkness if it is daylight.
The path of totality will occur from the Pacific Northwest to South Carolina.
LAST SOLAR ECLIPSE & NEXT ONE?
As mentioned above, the last eclipse was back in February 1979. This one went from the Pacific Northwest and ended on the island of Greenland.
The next solar eclipse will be one for south-central and eastern Texas to enjoy. It will be on April 8th, 2024. Tyler will be right on the eastern end of the total eclipse location.
TIMING TO VIEW THIS ECLIPSE
The partial solar eclipse we will see this Monday will cover between 70% and 80% of the sun—nearly like a sunset period for East Texas.
The start time of the partial eclipse will take place between 11:40am – 11:48am from west to east. This is when we can specifically slowly start to see the moon block the sun. However, the best part comes when the max eclipse happens just after 1:10pm on Monday afternoon (when we will see nearly 80% of the sun blocked by the moon). Then, we will see the moon move away from the sun and return to sunshine with partial eclipse ending between 2:40pm – 2:47pm.
I’ve made a graphic below telling rough times for a few cities of the max eclipse.
However, NASA has a wonderful interactive map so you can see the specific time for your location. Click here for that. The times that will come up are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The first number gets converted to central time: 16 (11am), 17 (12pm), 18 (1pm), 19 (2pm), 20 (3pm).
WORD OF WARNING
Over the next few days, I will have more information about the eclipse. One thing to leave you with is DO NOT USE SUNGLASSES to view the eclipse. You will damage your eyes. You need solar eclipse viewing glasses. Some local stores might sell them, but places like The Discovery Science Place or TJC Center for Earth & Space Science Education may have a few more glasses left.