If you were one of the thousands who ventured out Monday afternoon for the “Great American Eclipse” and wondered why darkness didn’t fall upon Austin, it's because the state of Texas didn't fall along the path of totality for 2017.
In layman’s terms, the "path of totality" is the terrestrial path along the U.S. where Americans could look up and see the total eclipse of the sun.
Because we didn’t fall along that path, those of us here in Austin only saw a partial solar eclipse -- roughly 70 percent of the sun was eclipsed by the moon this time around. For the full effect, and to experience a period of darkness in the daytime, we’ll just have to wait seven years.
On April 8, 2024, the next total solar eclipse will traverse across parts of North America. This time, the path of totality crosses right through Texas. Cities such as Dallas, Waco, McKinney, Tyler, Killeen, parts of San Antonio, and yes, Austin, will be able to see a total solar eclipse.
Other states that lie along the path of totality include Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, a small sliver of Tennessee and Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
So whether you were unable to secure a pair of eclipse glasses to see the partial eclipse here in Austin, couldn’t get the time off work to travel up north along the path of totality, or somehow just completely forgot about this year’s eclipse, Austin will be sitting pretty in 2024.
Thinking you may save your eclipse glasses for then? NASA lists several brands that meet the requirements of NASA and American Astrological Standards they say are good forever. You’ll just want to make sure they’re kept in a safe place and that they're not scratched or punctured during the seven-year wait.
The safest bet? Marking your calendars to order them several weeks before April 8, 2024.