Community members can view a rare partial solar eclipse at River Ranch County Park on Oct. 14.

What you need to know

An annular eclipse will pass over Central Texas around 11 a.m. to noon Oct. 14, making it the first eclipse of its kind in the United States since 2012, according to NASA.

The phenomenon occurs when the moon partially covers the sun to form what looks like a “ring of fire,” said Blagoy Rangelov, assistant professor of physics at Texas State University, in a news release. Six months later on April 8, the moon will completely cover the sun to create a total eclipse.

To witness the annular eclipse in Liberty Hill, Friends of River Ranch and Good Water Master Naturalists will host a viewing event from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Interpretive Center at River Ranch County Park. The organizations expect the eclipse to peak at 11:54 a.m., per a joint news release.

The event will provide solar viewing glasses and feature informational lectures at 11 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs and a cereal box, which can be used for viewing.

Also of note

As direct eye contact with solar eclipses can cause permanent damage, it is crucial that viewers wear proper eye equipment, said Kumar Patel, president-elect of the Texas Optometric Association, in a news release.

“Texans run the risk of temporary or permanent eye damage, also known as ‘eclipse blindness,’ from viewing the solar eclipse unsafely, and many times people don’t know that damage has happened until much later,” Patel said in the release.

The TOA provided the following recommendations to allow viewers to marvel in the experience while protecting their eyesight.

  • Solar eclipse glasses
  • Pinhole projection
  • Welder’s glass
  • Mylar filters
Don’t use:
  • A smartphone camera
  • A camera viewfinder
  • Unsafe filters, such as sunglasses