San Antonio will be front and center for a total solar eclipse in 2024
The buzz has already started to build in anticipation of a solar eclipse crossing the U.S. in 2024, and San Antonio will be front and center.
This will be a total solar eclipse — casting total darkness in the middle of the afternoon for up to four minutes as the moon blocks the sun's rays — and it's set to occur on April 8, 2024, between 12 and 4 pm.
Total solar eclipses only occur along the path of "totality" — the narrow path of the moon's shadow over the earth. In this eclipse, that path will cross a wide swath of Texas, moving diagonally northeast up through Maine.
It'll pass over many populated areas, giving a large portion of the population the chance to see it. (Areas outside the path will not see a total eclipse, but may see a partial eclipse.)
The next eclipse to cross the U.S. will not occur until 2045; some areas, such as New England, won't see one until 2079. So this one's a big deal.
San Antonio will also be on the path of an annual eclipse in 2023, which takes place on October 14, 2023. It's the only location in the U.S. where the two eclipse paths cross. (NASA has a cool map showing how San Antonio will be the center of the eclipse universe.)
Although the 2024 eclipse is still a year away, sites such as Sky & Telescope have been planning since 2019; their "Great Texas Eclipse Tour" event is already sold out. Waco's Convention & Visitors Bureau just put tickets on sale for Eclipse Over Texas, an all-day event at McLane Stadium with astronomers on-site. A spokesperson says they've sold a couple hundred tickets and expect the event to sell out.
Hotels in San Antonio such as the Thompson San Antonio Riverwalk say they're already booking rooms and Campspot, a booking site and app for private campgrounds, has noted a surge, with campground bookings up by 120 percent.
"The 2024 eclipse is predicted by some to be the biggest mass travel event ever in the United States, and Texas is shaping up to be a top viewing destination," says a release from Campspot, who've created a specific eclipse page with info and bookable locations.
For specifics on your location, the American Astronomical Society has a dedicated Eclipse website with interactive maps that make it easy to track down when each phase of the eclipse will happen for your location.