The Kerrville City Council has proclaimed October 2023 as Hill Country Night Sky Month in celebration of growing regional efforts to preserve the night skies and also to shed light on the two upcoming solar eclipses. There will be an annular eclipse on October 14, 2023, followed by a total eclipse on April 8, 2024.
In the fall of 2022, the city council also adopted an outdoor lighting ordinance to help protect the night sky from light pollution. Preservation of the Hill Country’s skies is a regional effort and has been supported by numerous counties throughout the Texas Hill Country.
There will be many different venues for people to have an opportunity to view the October annular eclipse, including attending the Fourth Annual Kerrville River Festival on Saturday, October 14 at Louise Hays Park. Festival grounds will open at 10 a.m., and the day will include a free Kid Zone, free boat rentals, local vendors, and live music. The eclipse will begin at 11:50 a.m. and will last for 4 minutes and 15 seconds. NASA has designated Kerrville as a primary partner for viewing and will be conducting on-site live broadcasting coverage of the annular eclipse that will create a “ring of fire” around the sun.
Schreiner University will host “Ring of Fire,” a public viewing of the annular eclipse, on Saturday morning at the Cailloux Campus Activity Center in Kerrville. Anyone attending is asked to bring their own chairs or blankets. For additional information, call (830) 792-7456.
The Science Mill in Johnson City is offering extended hours on October 14 in order for families to be able to enjoy the 50-plus interactive exhibits before or after the eclipse on this particular day. Regular admission prices will apply. For tickets and more information, call (844) 263-6405, or visit www.sciencemill.org.
Anyone expecting to participate in the viewing of either eclipse is reminded to only look at the sun through safe solar viewing glasses or a handheld solar viewer. Sunglasses are not safe. For more information, contact the Kerrville Parks and Recreation Department, or visit the City of Kerrville’s website at www.kerrvilletx.gov.