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'Ring of fire' eclipse to draw visitors, boost economy of Texas Hill Country

Goddard Space Flight Center
An area of Texas near San Antonio where the two eclipse paths cross will experience both the annular eclipse in 2023 and the total eclipse in 2024. The gold circles mark the time and location of the 2023 eclipse, while the purple circles mark the same for the 2024 eclipse.

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One of the best places in the country to view next month’s solar eclipse could be a Home Depot parking lot in New Braunfels, according to a list published by Space.com.

On Oct. 14, there will be a “ring of fire” effect in the sky as the moon will cover the face of the sun, leaving only a small ring of light around it.

While San Antonio is in the direct path of the eclipse, Space.com recommends heading to the edge of the eclipse’s path to see the ring of fire effect.

That would be the intersection of I-35 and Highway 46, where there are several large superstore parking lots.

On April 8 of next year, there will be a total solar eclipse passing through the region.

Don't look at it directly. During an annular eclipse, viewers will be exposed to about 5% of the sun, which is enough to cause damage.

Over in Kerrville, planning began long ago to cash-in on the influx of sky gazers expected for both celestial events.

Julie Davis organizes many outdoor events as the president and CEO of the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kerrville, with its often-clear skies, will be a great viewing spot in the U.S.

Davis told TPR last year they have been getting phone calls about local accommodations during the eclipses, a sign of the visitors to come.

So how far back did those calls start?

"Since 2017," she said with a laugh. “We've been getting calls from visitors. We have someone that comes in every year on April 8 to see how the weather is. He's been tracking it. So, [there's a] very serious crowd [interested in] seeing this, and we'll have several events related to that as well."

You can read about those events here:
Kerrville, TX, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse: Viewing, Events (kerrvilletexascvb.com)

Eclipse viewers will be coming from all over and will need places to gas up, eat, and stay. Chambers of commerce across the Hill Country are rolling out the welcome mat.

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