Once In A Life Time Cosmic Event

Once In A Life Time Cosmic Event

University Hosting Viewing Party for Rare Total Solar Eclipse 

Texas is set to witness a rare celestial event on April 8 as a total solar eclipse crosses over the state. The eclipse holds a special significance for Texans as it marks a rare celestial event that occurs once in a lifetime. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in Texas was in 1878.

This once in a lifetime event falls within the Universities 15-year Anniversary celebration. A&M-San Antonio students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to attend the official viewing party at the University, which will provide a great vantage point for this rare occurrence. The University will provide free souvenir 15-year Anniversary A&M-San Antonio Solar Eclipse glasses during the viewing party. 

A&M-San Antonio Eclipse Viewing Party




East Lawn

April 8 

11:45 a.m.: Glasses will be distributed  

12:14 p.m. Partial Eclipse begins  

1:33 p.m. Start of totality  

1:35 p.m. End of totality 

2:55 p.m. End of Eclipse 

What to Expect 

The April 8 solar eclipse, also known as an annular eclipse, occurs when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow that completely obscures the sun’s light. Many areas within Texas are expected to experience the totality of the eclipse

The shadow will stretch over Mexico, the United States and Canada. In Texas, observers will experience degrees of the eclipse’s visibility, with the northwest side of San Antonio expected to witness the more dramatic effects. The total eclipse is expected to last about two minutes.  

Dr. Mirley Balasubramanya, chair of the Department of Computational, Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences, said a number of factors determine people’s eclipse viewing experience, including simple geometry and positioning. There’s also the “Bailey’s Beads” effect, which refers to gaps in the moon’s rugged terrain that allow sunlight to pass through in some places before the eclipse.  

Balasubramanya said another curious effect of the eclipse is that the temporary darkness often confuses animals and critters, especially birds, many of which fly back to their nests because they think its nighttime.  

How to Safely Enjoy the Eclipse 

Spectators should never gaze directly at the sun without proper eye protection.

“You should never use homemade filters, sunglasses or even welding glasses,” said Balasubramanya. “Viewing the eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage.”  

In addition to solar eclipse glasses, the University will also provide bottled water during the viewing party. Attendees should also consider bringing a few items to make the viewing experience more comfortable, such as a blanket, lawn chair and sun protection.  

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