No matter how much people are warned, no matter how many safety glasses are handed out, I know there will be those who end up staring at the solar eclipse with their naked eye. Some will be adults, but more will likely be children. Some will foolishly seek to tempt fate. Others may somehow, someway have not gotten the message: DO NOT LOOK AT THE SOLAR ECLIPSE NEXT MONDAY WITH YOUR NAKED EYE!!!!
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality
The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. Be sure to inspect your solar filter before use. If scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
- Always supervise children using solar filters.
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
- Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or another optical device.
- Similarly, do not look at the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer because the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
- Seek expert advice before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
- If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
- Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
- If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
A solar eclipse is spectacular. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.
This does not constitute medical advice. Readers with questions should contact a qualified eye-care professional.