Aug 16, 2017

Hill Country Views and the Solar Eclipse too

Viewing the solar eclipse from the beautiful rolling hills of Travisso

There’s no denying that Solar Eclipse fever is everywhere. And, for good reason. The last time the moon completely covered the sun crossing through the U.S. was in 1918. The total solar eclipse of 2017 takes place on Monday, Aug. 21 creating a path through 14 states within a 70 mile band across the country.

Even though the state of Texas is not in the direct path of totality all is not lost. You can still experience the awe of a partial solar eclipse with spectacular views of the Texas Hill Country in the background while you explore the master-planned community of Travisso. From Travisso’s Welcome Center the partial eclipse will be 65-70 percent visible and peaks at 1:10 p.m. Local news outlets and experts from the University of Texas are predicting a phenomenon unlike any other.

Solar eclipse ABCs

By definition a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun casting a shadow on the earth’s surface. WOW, now that’s amazing. Monday’s eclipse will begin at 10:15 a.m. in Lincoln City, Ore. It will take one hour and 40 minutes to cross the country and complete its five phases before ending at 2:48 p.m. in Charleston, South Carolina. A solar eclipse five phases include:

  • Partial eclipse-occurs as the moon begins to cover the sun
  • Total eclipse-occurs when the entire disk of the sun is covered by the moon
  • Totality and maximum eclipse-the third and most dramatic phase occurring when the moon completely covers the sun. At this stage only the corona, a white or colored circle or set of concentric circles of light surrounding the sun, is visible.
  • Total eclipse-ends when the moon starts to move away giving way to the sun’s reappearance
  • Final phase-the eclipse ends when the moon no longer overlaps the sun.

Taking precautions when viewing the solar eclipse

Do not look directly at the sun. When viewing the eclipse, the single most important factor to remember is to protect your eyes. According to the NASA website the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filtered eclipse glasses, or hand-held solar viewers. The website also clearly states not to use any type of sunglasses or homemade filters when viewing the sun. For additional instruction on how to view the eclipse safely visit NASA’s Total Eclipse website. The site’s homepage, Eclipse 101, provides a wealth of information on the types of equipment to use and the precautions to take when viewing the phenomenon.

You’re invited

If you want to view the eclipse from another location the Texas Museum of Science & Technology in Cedar Park is inviting the public to attend their special Solar Eclipse event. This informative six-hour event begins at 10 a.m. in the museum’s Eclipse Science Stop. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. visitors can get expert tips and view the eclipse with an onsite expert astronomer. But, the discovery doesn’t end until 4 p.m. so don’t forget to bring your questions for the museum’s expert. Additional information is available by contacting the museum at 512-961-5333. Admission fees apply.


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