Tips for Watching a Solar Eclipse Safely
Being able to witness a solar eclipse is memorable and rare; however, if you do not take the proper precautions, it can also be quite dangerous. The rays of the sun are so intense you can feel their warmth from more than 150 million kilometers away. This is why looking directly at the sun, even for just a few seconds, can cause serious damage to your eyes.
Traditional Glasses vs. Specialized Viewer
Watching an eclipse with a pair of traditional sunglasses will offer almost no protection at all. In fact, they can actually trick your eyes into allowing more ultraviolet light into the eyes, burning the sensitive cells. This can cause permanent blind sports and blurry vision. The good news is a solar eclipse viewer will help ensure proper protection for the eyes.
Watching the eclipse directly is possible, but it is essential to protect your eyes. It is advised that you never look directly at the sun unless you are wearing a solar eclipse viewer. These do not cost very much, but will block out over 99.9 percent of the light produced by the sun.
Test the Condition of Viewer
If you have an older pair of viewers, it is essential to test their condition prior to watching the eclipse. You can do this by putting them on while looking away from the sun. You should not be able to see anything around you. If you notice any light entering the glasses, it may mean they are scratched and will not be able to provide very good protection. If the glasses are not damaged, then go ahead and turn around to view the sun. The only thing you should be able to see is the sun – a large orange globe with black sky surrounding it.
What Not to Do
You should never look at the sun through a camera or through a pair of binoculars, since this will simply concentrate the powerful rays of the sun into the eye. If you would like to use equipment such as this to view an eclipse, it is essential to first place a solar filter on the front of the lenses.
Eye protection is important and when it comes to watching an eclipse, much more is needed than what is offered with the typical pair of sunglasses. Use the tips here to ensure you can enjoy an eclipse and protect your eyes.