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Eclipse Facts

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Lunar Eclipses

  • Happens when the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow

  • Can only occur at full moon phase

  • In a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra

  • In a partial lunar eclipse, at least part of the Moon falls within the lighter part of Earth’s shadow, called the penumbra

  • In a penumbral lunar eclipse, none of the Moon passes into Earth’s umbra, but only passes through the penumbra

  • Lunar eclipses happen on average about twice a year, though an observer at any given fixed location would see only about one of any type per year, and only about four to six total lunar eclipses over a 20-year period.

Solar Eclipses

  • Happens when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, causing parts of the Earth to fall into the Moon’s shadow

  • Can only occur at new moon phase

  • A region of Earth experiences a partial solar eclipse when it falls into the lighter part of the Moon’s shadow (the penumbra) and the Moon does not totally obscure the Sun because the Moon and Sun are not directly in line with each other. Partial eclipses can only be viewed safely with eye protection.

  • A region of Earth experiences a total solar eclipse when it falls into the darker part of the Moon’s shadow (the umbra) and the Moon totally obscures the Sun. Total solar eclipses may be viewed without eye protection only during totality.

  • A third type of solar eclipse happens when the Moon is too far away from the Earth in its orbit to totally obscure the Sun, but is directly in line with the Sun as seen from part of the Earth. This is an annular solar eclipse, a.k.a. a “Ring of Fire”. Annular eclipses can only be viewed safely with eye protection.

  • A fourth type of solar eclipse happens when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to be a total eclipse (i.e. an annular eclipse) during part of the event, but becomes total at some point due to the Earth’s curvature. This is a hybrid solar eclipse.






Eclipses Coming to Kerrville Area


October 14, 2023 – Annular Solar Eclipse

  • The Moon will cover 89.979% of the Sun’s surface*

  • Shadow path will be from northwest to southeast. Speed: 1919 m.p.h.

  • First contact - Eclipse begins at 10:22:41 a.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Second contact - Eclipse reaches annularity at 11:50:23 a.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Mid-Eclipse - Eclipse reaches maximum at 11:52:30 a.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Third contact - Eclipse annularity ends at 11:54:38 a.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Fourth contact – Eclipse ends at 01:30:41 p.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Total duration 4 minutes 15.2 seconds*

  • Must wear protective eyewear (solar safety glasses) throughout this event

  • Telescopes must be covered with special solar protective film across entire front aperture to protect optics (and eyes of the viewer!)


April 8, 2024 – Total Solar Eclipse

  • The Moon / Sun size ratio will be 105.622%*

  • Shadow path will be from southwest to northeast, with center line crossing over Hwy. 39 near Lake New Ingram dam at intersection with Warrior Way W., and then over Buckhorn Lake Resort at I-10 & Goat Creek Rd. Speed: 1617 m.p.h.

  • First contact - Eclipse begins 12:14:46 p.m. local time (CDT)*

  • Second contact - Eclipse reaches totality at 01:32:08 p.m. (CDT)*

  • Mid-Eclipse - Eclipse reaches maximum at 01:34:20 p.m. (CDT)*

  • Third contact - Totality ends at 01:36:32 p.m. (CDT)*

  • Fourth contact - Eclipse ends at 02:55:33 p.m. (CDT)*

  • Total duration 4 minutes 24.5 seconds

  • Must wear protective eye wear (solar safety glasses) during all partial phases, i.e. right up until second contact, and again starting with third contact. Viewing the totality phase will require glasses to be temporarily removed.

  • As with safety glasses, telescopes must be covered with special solar protective film during partial phases, across entire front aperture of the telescope.

* All percentages & times are for the location of Sidney Baker & Main, downtown

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