Solar Eclipse Safety – How To Protect Your Eyes During the Event

Solar Eclipse Safety
How To Protect Your Eyes During the Event

 by Reed Janson
 
 
 In spite of what you may have heard, it’s not remotely dangerous to be outside during the solar eclipse.  It’s OK!  Go Outside!  Experience the event!
 
BUT DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH YOUR NAKED EYE!
 
It’s dangerous – Seriously – Don’t even think about it …
 
Theoretically it might be safe to look up DURING totality ONLY, but most people don’t know enough about the phases or the timing (and it’s different depending on location) so just don’t risk it.
 
Yes, You Could Go blind.
 
Your eyes could be severely damaged.  Even a small exposure could cause blurry vision and temporary blindness (and you won’t know whether it’s temporary or not).
 
No, Sunglasses Will NOT Help!
 
Purchase a reputable pair of eclipse glasses.  They are cheap and widely available so get prepared before the even and pick up a pair.  They can be worn over regular eyeglasses.  But make sure they come from a reputable manufacturer and meet the ISO 12312-2 standard.  The ONLY thing you should be able to see through them is the sun.  If you can see household or other lights through them, they are NOT safe.
 
What if it’s too late to purchase NAS-approved glasses?
 
JUST DO IT YOURSELF:

A pinhole projector is another safe way of watching the eclipse, and you can make one yourself with two thin pieces of cardboard (or paper plates).

Here’s how:

  1. Put one piece of cardboard (or paper plate) on the ground.
  2. Poke a tiny, round hole into the other piece of cardboard.
  3. With your back facing the sun, raise the cardboard with the hole in above your head and aim the hole at the cardboard on the ground.
  4. The hole will project an image of the crescent shape of the eclipse.

Or here’s a handy and fun video on how to make one at home:

 
So Have Fun Kids!
 
And remembering that you’re sharing something that has been revered and wondered at by your ancestors since the very beginnings of your ancestors.
 
Think about that; it’s kind’a cool.
 
(The totality is predicted to begin at 10:16 a.m. PDT on Monday, August 21st in Lincoln City, Oregon, and end in Charleston, SC at 2:48pm EDT. It will pass as a totality through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, and when it’s in Illinois, the sun will be completely covered for almost 3 minutes.)

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