Solar Eclipse Safety Tips
How to view the eclipse safely in Austin
If you’re planning to experience the Total Solar Eclipse in Austin on April 8, 2024, plan ahead and come prepared to have a safe visit. From confirming you’re equipped with proper eyewear to getting to your viewing destination, here are a few tips to keep you safe. Visit the City of Austin’s Ready Central Texas website for more local guidance.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Tips
With the exception of the brief moments during totality where the moon completely blocks the sun, it is crucial that viewers use ISO 12312-2 certified eye protection, made after 2015 and without scratches or damage when viewing the eclipse. For additional information on eye safety while viewing the eclipse check out these resources: National Eclipse, NASA, American Astronomical Society
- Do not look directly at the sun or at the eclipse without proper eye protection
- Do not look through the lens of a telescope, binoculars, camera or other device without an approved solar filter attached
- Your regular sunglasses are not strong enough to protect your eyes from looking directly at the sun
- Secure your ISO 12312-2:2015 certified eyewear well in advance.
Make your travel plans well in advance. Hotels and lodging are booking up quickly, so secure your overnight accommodations as soon as possible. Click here to find lodging in Austin.
What to Bring
Don’t forget these must-have items for your packing list:
- ISO 12312-2:2015 certified eyewear for anyone who will be looking at the eclipse
- Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses for before/after the eclipse
- Full tank of gas and an emergency kit in case of extensive traffic delays on roadways
- Extra snacks and water
- Camera with certified solar lens filter
- Chairs, blankets and activities to keep busy before and after the eclipse
- Cash, in case vendors at events do not take cards or internet credit card services are down
Eclipse glasses will be available for purchase at the Austin Visitor Center for $1.99 each or buy six, get one free. These glasses conform to and meet the Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2, Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun. Made in the USA. Glasses are also available for purchase in advance at our online store.
Transportation & Weather
The eclipse is expected to attract a substantial amount of visitors to Austin and the surrounding Hill Country region, therefore roadway congestion and delays are likely. To ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, be sure to arrive at your viewing location early and consider sticking around after the eclipse to avoid traffic. Just to be safe, plan to fill up your gas tank and pack extra food and water in the car in the event you get stuck in road delays.
- Come early and stay late: expect traffic delays throughout the region and state of Texas
- Plan to carpool and travel with as few vehicles as possible
- Pack extra food, water, backup batteries and fuel
- Follow local guidelines and park in designated areas only. Do not impede traffic, park on roadways or on private property without approval
- Expect cell phone service and wifi disruption due to crowds
While much of the country is still thawing out from winter's chill, sunny and mild spring weather makes its way to Austin, making this the perfect time of year to explore our great outdoors. However, Springtime in Austin can also bring the potential for severe weather. Keep an eye on local conditions and plan accordingly, in case of thunderstorms, risk of tornados, straight-line winds, or hail. You can prepare in advance by researching safe places to shelter near your viewing location, building an emergency kit and signing up for WarnCentralTexas.org’s notifications. Click here to learn more about spring weather averages in Austin.
- Eclipse and weather resources on the City of Austin’s Get Ready Central Texas website
- Current road conditions on DriveTexas.org
- State of Texas Safety Rest Areas Map
- Localized weather forecast for your viewing area on Weather.gov
- 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Information on NASA.gov
- University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory Eclipse Information