How to Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse glasses

We’re about to witness a once-in-a-lifetime experience — the total solar eclipse takes place on April 8th for those lucky enough to be in the viewing path.

However, viewing a solar eclipse without proper precautions can lead to serious, permanent eye damage including solar retinopathy and blindness.

Why Can’t You Look Directly at a Solar Eclipse?

Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent damage to the retina, the part of the eye responsible for vision. The intense solar rays can burn the retinal tissues, leading to temporary or even permanent vision loss. 

To watch a solar eclipse safely, you must use special viewing equipment designed to keep your eyes and vision safe.

Essential Solar Eclipse Viewing Equipment

Solar Viewing Glasses:

Solar eclipse glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation. Only glasses that meet the international standard ISO 12312-2 are suitable for safe viewing.

Pinhole Projectors:

This DIY method allows you to view the eclipse indirectly by projecting it onto a surface through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard and is considered one of the safest ways to watch a solar eclipse.

Solar Filters for Telescopes and Binoculars:

If using telescopes or binoculars, ensure they are equipped with solar filters designed specifically for viewing solar phenomena. 

Best Tips for Safe Eclipse Viewing

Verify Safety Standards:

Only use solar viewing glasses or viewers that comply with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. Beware of counterfeit products that may not offer adequate protection.

Avoid Sunglasses:

Sunglasses, even premium quality polarized or dark ones are not safe to use while staring at an eclipse. 

Use Equipment Properly:

If viewing through a telescope, camera, binoculars, or any other optical device, attach the solar filter to the front of the device to protect your eyes from concentrated solar rays.

Indirect Viewing:

Consider watching the eclipse indirectly through a live stream or by using a pinhole projector if you do not have access to certified solar viewing glasses.

A solar eclipse is an awe-inspiring event that shouldn't be missed due to fear of eye damage. Keep your eyes and vision healthy by following the above guidelines.

This article was written by a state-licensed optical professional. At The Optical. Co, we believe in filling the internet with news and information from trusted professional sources. If you agree with this mission, please consider sharing this article on any and all of your favorite social sites.

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