Solar eclipse: Texas prepares for 'ring of fire' Oct. 14

An annual solar eclipse will happen on Saturday, Oct. 14. That's when the moon will pass in front of the sun, creating a "ring of fire."

In the U.S., the eclipse will start in Oregon and end in Texas. In San Antonio, it will start at about 11:52 a.m. and end at about 11:56 a.m. 

"During the solar eclipse is when the sun is mostly covered or completely covered by the moon. There's still a significant amount of sunlight that can be harmful to your eyes," said Dr. Scott Allison, VP Professional Services at MyEyeDr

If you're going to watch it, make sure you have the right protective eye wear with safety standard ISO 12312-2. Regular sunglasses won't cut it.

"It's really no different from any time during the day if you were to look at the sun. Staring at the sun can cause permanent damage to the eyes," Allison said.

You also shouldn't watch the eclipse through a camera lens, binoculars, or telescope without a special purpose solar filter.

"Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper protection during an eclipse can also cause eclipse blindness or what we call retinal burns. In optometry, we call that solar retinopathy," Allison said.

While cities like San Marcos aren't directly in the path, the city is anticipating heavy traffic. 

"It’s going to be a busy weekend in San Marcos," Rob Finch, emergency management coordinator, said. "We’re in a prime location for eclipse travelers, and there are several other events planned throughout the community that are happening at the same time including the Native Plant Sale and Monarch Festival at the Discovery Center and a home football game and Family Weekend at Texas State University."

First responders have been meeting for weeks to prepare and will have additional staff ready to respond to traffic incidents if they occur.

Due to the potential for increased traffic, residents are encouraged to plan ahead.

"If possible, run your errands ahead of the weekend," Fitch said. "Fill your car up with gasoline, grab your groceries, and pick up prescriptions, so you don’t have to fight traffic. If you’re attending a community event, plan your route and give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going."

San Marcos officials also say getting ready for the annular eclipse this weekend helps them prepare for the total solar eclipse in April.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a list of which state parks are in the path of the eclipse. 

San Antonio is in the path of both the annular eclipse this weekend and the total eclipse in April. The city is dubbing it the "Fiesta Del Sol" with lots of viewing events. 

One of the safest ways to watch the eclipse is on the NASA live stream.