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Padre Island Nation Seashore expecting many visitors for unique solar eclipse

How to watch 'ring of fire' eclipse this weekend
Posted at 8:46 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2024-04-01 16:20:59-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Wednesday evening, people everywhere will have the opportunity to see a super blue moon.

In just over a month, another celestial event will be taking place, a "ring of fire" solar eclipse. Corpus Christi will be one of the few key locations in the United States to view the full eclipse. This makes the city a popular destination for the weekend of Oct. 14.

“We are planning for large crowds because we know that these events are incredibly popular and there are lots of people who travel around the country, particularly given this is a weekend event,” Kelly Taylor, public information officer for Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) said.

On Oct. 14, when the moon is at it’s farthest point from Earth, it’ll pass between the sun and Earth creating a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. Although a solar eclipse is an annual event, this "ring of fire" was last seen 11 years ago.

Taylor said for a solar eclipse in 2017, certain national parks saw a big spike in visitors if they fell in the viewing path of the eclipse.

“Places where they had the total solar eclipse they were planning for several thousand people and they ended up in the upwards of five, six, seven thousand people,” she said.

Visit Corpus Christi doesn’t have a method of keeping track of future hotel bookings, but an official with Visit Corpus Christi said they are anticipating a bump in hotel reservations for that weekend in October. They’ve also launched a new web page counting down to the eclipse.

For people visiting PINS during the eclipse, the best time to see it will be 11:56 a.m. and it’ll last for almost five minutes. However, there will be many more activities.

“For about a four hour window we’ll have different activities where people can build a pinhole viewer for example and look through, like a colander to see the eclipse pattern on the ground,” Taylor said.

Taylor said most importantly do not look directly into the eclipse because it could cause permanent damage to your eye sight.

"The eclipse should not be viewed through just a pair of sunglasses or a pair of eyeglasses. It needs to be viewed through a set of solar glasses."

Taylor suggest planning ahead in getting yourself a pair of glasses that should be ISO certified. She said don't wait until the last minute and order a cheap pair online.

The eclipse can be viewed an interactive map on NASA's website.

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