Monday, July 22

Three Tips to Prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada. This will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. 

Experience this cosmic phenomenon with other eclipse chasers and make Space Center Houston your eclipse viewing destination! Learn about the science of solar eclipses with three days of interactive programming at our Total Solar Eclipse Celebration—all included in general admission from Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8.  

If you’ve already marked your calendar, here are some helpful tips if you’re planning on watching the eclipse:

1. Prioritize eye safety during the eclipse 

When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with your eyes, which happens before and after totality, you must always look through safe solar viewing glasses (“eclipse glasses”) or a safe handheld solar viewer. Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the Sun. Safe solar viewers are thousands of times darker and ought to comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.  

Always inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use; if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device. Always supervise children using solar viewers. 

Do NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury (Source: NASA).  

All visitors to Space Center Houston on Monday, April 8 will receive a complimentary pair of eclipse glasses to enjoy the experience! 

2. Know the path of totality

Though the path of totality for the April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse cuts through the heart of the Lone Star State, Houston narrowly skirts the full path of totality. This means that the Houston area will not experience totality. However, Space Center Houston will still have an extraordinary view of the event! Check out our map to trace the path of totality while making your travel plans.

3. Prep for a Texas road trip (and Texas traffic)

Did you know it takes around 11 hours to drive across the state of Texas? For those out-of-state visitors coming to see this cosmic phenomenon, the sheer distance between destinations and cities in Texas should be considered in your itinerary. And if you’re flying in to any of the state’s major cities, expect to wait in traffic—private vehicles are the most popular mode of transportation. Variables like highway construction, weather and rush hour can exacerbate traffic, so make sure to give yourself and your crew plenty of time to make it to your destination. With snacks and our eclipse-themed playlist, your drive will go by much faster!

Space Center Houston’s Total Solar Eclipse Celebration is April 6 through April 8 and access is included in your admission to the center. Members get in free and on April 8, they can enjoy a members-only eclipse viewing area! Not a member? Learn more and create a year of out-of-this-world memories.