Everything Houstonians need to know to prepare for upcoming solar eclipse set to impact power grid

Elyse Smith Image
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Houstonians, prepare for the upcoming solar eclipse
ABC13 Meteorologist Elyse Smith has everything Houstonians need to know to get ready for the solar eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Mark your calendars because on Saturday, Oct. 14, Houstonians will be able to view a solar eclipse.

Not only that, but Texas will be within the path of totality for the first time in over a century. And even though Houston is not within the path of totality, it's still going to be an awe-inspiring event... if the weather cooperates.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow across the side of the Earth that's in daylight.

The solar eclipse on Oct. 14 is technically an "annular" solar eclipse, where even within the path of totality, the moon doesn't completely cover the sun because of its position relative to the Earth. It's a little too far away. But during a total solar eclipse, like the one coming on April 8, 2024, the moon will be in perfect alignment between the sun and the Earth to completely cover up the sun.

SEE ALSO: Partial lunar eclipse, longest of its kind in nearly 600 years, covers 97% of the moon: VIDEO

Either way, it's important to prepare to view the solar eclipse by gathering the proper eyewear and planning ahead on where to go to view the eclipse.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting an event on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will provide the proper ISO-certified eyewear to safely view the eclipse as it's happening, as well as perform experiences and make crafts.

On Tuesday, ABC13 Meteorologist Elyse Smith spoke to Dr. Carolyn Summers, the vice president of astronomy and physics for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Dr. Summers said that this is the first time Texas will be within the path of totality for a solar eclipse since 1878, which could bring big crowds to the state.

Even ERCOT is already planning ahead and raising concerns about the grid during the eclipse.

In a statement to ABC13, ERCOT says in part that it expects to see a reduction in solar power generation as the eclipse moves across the state.

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