UTA hosts Solar-bration watch party for April 8 eclipse

UTA celebrates area’s first total solar eclipse since 1878 with concerts and unique events

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024 • Katherine Egan Bennett : contact

sun corona during eclipse
Left: Sun by ESA's PROBA2 satellite, Right: Photo during 2017 eclipse, Photo S.R. Cranmer and A.R. Winebarge

The University of Texas at Arlington is hosting an April 8 watch party that is open to the public so the community can join Maverick students, faculty and staff in viewing the first total solar eclipse visible in North Texas since 1878.

The party will offer food trucks, an audio program featuring eclipse experts from UTA’s faculty, and more. Visit UTA’s Solar-bration website for details, including parking information. The event is sponsored in part by Whataburger.

For visitors, UTA is offering a limited number of free eclipse glasses available for pickup at viewing locations across campus. If you wish to guarantee that you will have glasses, or you need more than one pair, you may purchase them in advance from the UTA Planetarium.

On April 8, people in the Arlington area will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse, in which the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, darkening skies and completely blocking out the sun for a little more than three minutes. The partial eclipse starts at 12:22 p.m. and ends at 3:02 p.m., with the totality lasting from 1:40 p.m. to nearly 1:44 p.m.

“People have been watching the solar eclipses from time in memoriam, so stop and think about how you’re part of this human history,” said Kimberly Breuer, assistant professor of instruction of history and an expert on medieval astronomy. “You are viewing something that people thousands of years ago looked at, and people thousands of years from now are going to do the same thing.”

UT Arlington also is hosting numerous events leading up the eclipse, including:

Students, faculty, staff and community members are all invited to attend. UTA has cancelled classes from 1 to 2 p.m. on April 8 to encourage everyone to view this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Traffic is expected to be heavy on April 8. Visitors are encouraged make plans to arrive early and stay later to avoid delays. The events on campus are all free (except for Sunday’s Planetarium show), but guests will need to pay $10 for parking on the day of the eclipse. Visitors are encouraged to purchase early to reduce wait times.

View UTA’s eclipse webpage for more information.

eclipse times