PHOTOS: ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse doesn’t disappoint

For days leading up to Saturday’s annular eclipse, the weather forecast was very favorable in Southwest Texas. But in a seeming blink of an eye, a tropical depression formed southwest of my viewing location — what had been a glorious starry, starry sky just the previous night became totally overcast on eclipse day after sunrise.

As the day went on, the cloud gods loosened their grip and “sucker holes” — the astronomical term for breaks in the clouds — began to appear. We missed the very first bite out of the sun caused by the encroaching moon but enough sucker holes came our way to give us views leading up to and during annularity.

The “Ring of Fire,” when the moon is completely within the disc of the sun, did not disappoint! The ground took on an eerie appearance as the sky darkened somewhat and the temperature dropped a full three degrees. “Oohs” and “ahhs” were audible throughout the area as the annular eclipse reached its maximum coverage with the moon perfectly suspended within the sun.

What a sight.

The first comment I heard afterwards was, “When is the next one?!” We don’t have long to wait, as there will be a total solar eclipse in April 2024. Book now, because accommodations are going fast for rooms and campgrounds near the eclipse centerline.

Me? I’ll be right back here at Camp Riverview.

Oh, and of course it was perfectly sunny after the eclipse was ending.

Follow me on X at @SkyGuyinVA and my daily blog.

Danica Machrae watches the solar eclipse through a pair of eclipse glasses on the second day of the second weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Sara Diggins/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Hot air balloon pilot Allan Hahn of Aurora, Colo., right, tries on his viewing glasses before inflating his balloon as part of a special balloon glow during the solar eclipse at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M, on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. Tens of thousands of people gathered at the fiesta to view the eclipse after watching hundreds of hot air balloons lift off hours early during a mass ascension. (AP Photo/Katie Oyan)
People watch the sun rise over Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, before a rare "ring of fire" eclipse of the sun Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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