Countdown to Totality
April 8, 2024 | 1:38 pm
How will the eclipse impact us?
For an understanding of what's to come, check out this 7-minute overview of how the total solar eclipse of 2017 affected communities and individuals along its path of totality.
What day is the total solar eclipse?April 8, 2024
What time is the eclipse?
What will happen during the eclipse?During the total solar eclipse, light from the sun will be blocked by the moon, which will cast a vast shadow called an "umbra" over the earth. Hillsboro will experience a 360 degree sunset and the afternoon sky will darken. Scientists and observers have reported a quieting of nature during total solar eclipses, as birds stop chirping and bees cease to buzz. Watch the video below to see a simulation of the total eclipse.
How long is the eclipse?The entire eclipse event will occur from 12:21pm to 3:01pm. That's 2 hours 40 minutes of eclipse effects! This is when Hillsboro will be shaded by the moon's penumbra - the large, gray, circular shadow in the time lapse animation below. The most dramatic period of the eclipse is totality, which will occur from 1:38pm to 1:43pm. This is when Hillsboro will be shaded by the darkest part of the moon's shadow, the umbra. The umbra will travel at a speed of ~1,652mph. The small black dot in the time lapse animation below is the umbra traveling over Hillsboro and across North America. Totality (indicated in the bottom right) is longest in Mexico and decreases as the umbra travels northeast across the United States. Hillsboro has one of the longest totalities in Texas at 4 minutes 22.5 seconds. That’s 11 seconds longer than Waco, 33 seconds longer than Dallas, and 2 minutes 42 seconds longer than Austin.
Why Hillsboro?Hillsboro is on the center line of the 120 mile wide path of totality. The shaded area below depicts the path of totality. The center line of this path marks the optimal viewing locations, including Hillsboro. Additionally, Hillsboro is an attractive location for visitors who prefer a more rural experience - distanced from the hustle and bustle of Waco, Austin, and the DFW Metroplex. Hillsboro has one of the most beautiful, historic, downtown squares in the country. We are also conveniently situated between Dallas and Austin at the I-35E and I-35W split and boast much lower levels of light pollution than our big city neighbors.
What is the big deal?On August 21, 2017, America witnessed its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in almost 100 years. Hundreds of thousands of tourists traveled to the line of totality to witness the event. The total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will last almost two minutes longer than 2017! We expect a massive influx of visitors for days preceding the event and must prepare to accommodate. The last total eclipse in Hillsboro was July 29, 1878. After 2024, the next total eclipse in Hillsboro will not occur until after 2185.
How many people are coming to Hillsboro?We really don't know for sure, but Great American Eclipse is predicting anywhere from 180,000 to 720,000 visitors will travel to Texas. Hillsboro is a prime viewing location, situated directly on the path of totality, and voted 7th best location in the world to watch the eclipse. Our hotels are booking up quickly.
What if it rains?We won't be able to predict the weather until 7 to 10 days before the eclipse, so we are planning for the best with contingencies for rain. Even if it rains, eclipse effects may still be felt and observed, but with less spectacle. Check out this incredible video from NPR that features a rained-out (but still successful) total eclipse event in Charlottesville. The following map is from Eclipsophile by Jay Anderson - your ultimate guide to eclipse weather. This shows the average April cloud cover measured from the Aqua spacecraft at approximately 1:30pm for 2000-2020, with Texas showing the lowest amount of cloud coverage. This is suprising and encouraging data! Data: NASA. Eclipse track: Fred Espenak.
What is City Administration's involvement?The City of Hillsboro is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our residents and visitors. See our About page for more information.
Hosting eclipse lodging?
Great! Hotels in Hillsboro have been fully booked for months. Make money by renting your home or land to eclipse tourists.
Read the full ordinance
No. 02023-10-22 here.
For a simplified explanation of short-term rental requirements, consult this helpful diagram.
For questions, call Richard Reinhardt at (254) 582-2119 ext. 2418
Hosting a public event or eclipse viewing site?
Great! We encourage public events to feed and entertain an influx of tourists, and your registration supports planning by our Health, Safety, and Logistics Team. For events within city limits, registration is required by the City of Hillsboro. If you'd like, we will promote your event on our Visitors page.
Want to be an
Apply now! Hillsboro needs food, beverage, retail, art, crafts, and experiences across multiple locations. The solar eclipse is a massive opportunity to make money and promote your brand. Apply now before categories are filled, and see our Vendor page for more information.
Want to use our logo and slogan?