Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tips for Safe Viewing of Solar Eclipse

If you plan to view the solar eclipse Monday you must obtain a pair of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, which must meet an international safety standard, otherwise you risk causing damage to your eyes.

NASA recommends checking the safety and authenticity of eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to make sure they meet all the following:

• Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
• Have the manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product.
• Have no scratched or damaged lenses.
Do not use homemade filters.

Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse-viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.
With counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market, NASA and the American Astronomical Society suggest that consumers purchase products only from a list of verified brands and vendors to ensure safe viewing.

The American Astronomical Society says a number of manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products.

Some eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers come with warnings that users shouldn't look at the sun through them for more than three minutes at a time and that they should be discarded if they are more than three years old. Be sure to read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the item.

According to the American Astronomical Society, you must cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking at the sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and then remove your filter. Do not remove it while looking at the sun.

If you are viewing the eclipse within the path of totality, remove your eclipse glasses or solar viewer only when the moon completely blocks the sun and the sky suddenly darkens. Enjoy this rare and striking experience of totality. But as soon as the sun's bright face begins to reappear, cover your eyes again with the eclipse glasses or solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

Outside the path of totality, you must always use safe eclipse glasses or a solar viewer to look directly at the sun.

Remember to always supervise children using eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers.

Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can cause eclipse blindness or retinal burns,.Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun."

If you normally wear eyeglasses, the American Astronomical Society says to keep them on and put your eclipse glasses on over them or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

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