Science & Tech

Where To Watch The Solar Eclipse In Aggieland

Viewing events across Bryan-College Station include a musical performance at Century Square preceded by an educational talk.
By Caitlin Clark, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications April 3, 2024

A maroon graphic with text reading "events around the eclipse" with musical notes representing the moon passing in front of the sun.


As the skies begin to darken in Aggieland on April 8, a brass quintet will play the first half of a piece commissioned to mark the rare astronomical event.

The event at The Green at Century Square — on University Drive across from the Texas A&M University campus — begins Monday at 1 p.m. Organized by Friends of Chamber Music and the Brazos Valley Astronomy Club, the event will also feature an educational talk by Dr. Ray Garner, a Texas A&M postdoctoral research associate in physics and astronomy. Free solar glasses will be available to the first 200 guests.

The idea to pair an eclipse viewing with a concert to merge the arts and science came from Dr. Andreas Kronenberg, a professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics and president of Friends of Chamber Music.

“What we’re trying to do is make up for those who cannot travel to view the eclipse because of traffic or other complications,” Kronenberg said. “I think Century Square is going to be a pretty good place to see it if you can’t get to the path of totality.”

Friends of Chamber Music commissioned Dr. David Wilborn, an associate professor in Texas A&M’s School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, to compose an original piece for the occasion. The performance of “Prelude and Fanfare” will begin as the sky progressively darkens before the roughly five-minute period of maximum totality. The second half of the performance will pick up as the light begins to return.

Several screens at the event will also display NASA’S livestream of the eclipse, which the organizers say will guarantee a good view in the event of rain or heavy cloud cover.

According to NASA, College Station is expected to reach 98.5% totality at 1:39 p.m. when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. Event co-sponsor Randall Light of the Brazos Valley Astronomy Club said this will make for a less dramatic effect than if one were to view the eclipse in an area within the path of totality.

Mark Spearman, who is co-sponsoring the event with Light, urges attendees to wear their eclipse glasses at all times, as the sun’s surface will never be fully obscured while viewing from College Station.

“It will still be a million times brighter than a full moon, and it will hurt your eyes if you try to look at it without glasses,” Spearman said.

Other ways to view the eclipse in Aggieland:

  • In partnership with Texas A&M’s Department of Hospitality, Hotel Management and Tourism, Destination Bryan will host an eclipse watch party from noon to 3 p.m. at Lake Walk on Lake Atlas Drive in Bryan. The event is free and open to the public, and eclipse glasses will be provided to the first 1,000 attendees.

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