By now, you've probably heard about the total solar eclipse that will traverse the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on Aug. 21. But if you can't get to Southern Illinois for the best view of totality, what can you expect here in North Texas?
Will the sun be completely blocked here?
No, we won't get a total solar eclipse -- that's when the moon completely blocks the sun from view -- but we will get a partial solar eclipse. At most, Dallas will see about 75 percent of the sun blocked out.
When is this going down?
Look to the skies starting at 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 21, and you'll see the moon begin to cover up the sun. It will move out of the path of the sun by 2:40 p.m., according to NASA.
So, just stare at the sun, see what happens?
Well, not exactly. Just like your mother used to say, never look directly at the sun -- not even during an eclipse. Make sure to wear NASA-certified eye protection, which you can order online or find at various retailers and Dallas-area eclipse events. Beware of imposters, who are selling "fake" eclipse glasses without the proper protection for your eyes. You can also build a pinhole camera for viewing the moon's shadow if you don't want to see the eclipse directly.
Where can I watch the eclipse with like-minded astronomy geeks?
There are a handful of events around the area for solar eclipse fans on Aug. 21. The Frontiers of Flight Museum is having a watch party in Dallas, as is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Dallas Arboretum is offering $1 admission for the midday event, and the Noble Planetarium in Fort Worth will offer a live-stream of totality. If you're looking for a more natural setting, Ray Roberts Lake State Park is also hosting a watch party in Pilot Point.
Do you have a good playlist for this celestial shindig?
What about eclipse-themed book recommendations?
I'm still bummed we won't see totality.
Don't worry, you'll get another chance in 2024, when a total solar eclipse is on track to pass right through Texas. Dallas will get complete totality for about four minutes the evening of April 8, 2024.