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Solar Eclipses 2023 and 2024

Credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Central Texas is in the path of not one, but two solar eclipses in the next year. Solar eclipses are rare and exciting events, and it is a once in a lifetime event to have two eclipses of two different types in such as short period of time.  Our council is planning to celebrate both events with events, patches and more.

What is a Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon cast a shadow on the Earth by moving between the Sun and the Earth. Solar eclipses are rare because the moon actually circles the Earth in an elliptical path, which means the moon can end up too high, too low or too far to either side to ask a complete shadow. Additionally, the Earth moves around the sun in an elliptical path also, which means it also can end up a bit too high or two low for the moon to line up correct to cast a shadow. It is only when both paths line up exactly right do we get an eclipse visible at a location on Earth.

Interestingly, there are eclipse seasons, where eclipses are a bit more common because of the elliptical path the moon is traveling. Right now we are in an eclipse season and we are getting an unique opportunity to see two examples within one year.

What are the two types of Eclipses?

Remember how the moon moves in an elliptical path? This means that sometimes the moon is closer to the Earth and sometimes it is farther away. This means that there are two different types of Eclipse, Annular Eclipse and Total Solar Eclipse.

An Annular Eclipse is when the moon is farther away from the Earth and thus appears smaller in diameter than the sun. This results in the moon not fully covering the sun and the outer part (not just the corona) is visible. The term Annular mean ring, and and Annular Eclipse is sometimes called a “Ring of Fire”.

A Total Solar Eclipse is when the moon close enough to the Earth that it’s shadow can completely cover the sun. This means that only the corona of the sun is visible for a certain amount of time and the area covered by the shadow will completely darken.

On October 14, 2023 an Annular Eclipse will be visible across Central and South Central Texas. Lost Pines Scout Reservation will be within the 88.15% zone of totality. Our council will host Cub and Scouts BSA events at Lost Pines.


On April 8, 2024, Smilin V Scout Ranch will be in the Zone of Totality of the Total Solar Eclipse. Our council will host a family friendly Eclipse event for Scouts and families. The maximum eclipse will be between 1:35 pm – 1:40 pm and will be one of the longest amounts of totality in the United States.