Solar Eclipse Tips

We are less than a week away from America’s Solar Eclipse on August 21st. This is an opportunity to witness an inspiring event. However, we do need to take precautions to ensure our eyes are protected. Below are some tips we need to follow. The most important safety tip is to remember is to never look directly at the sun. Viewing the sun directly, even from brief periods, can cause permanent damage to the retina and result in blindness.  

Tips for Safely enjoying the eclipse with solar eclipse glasses:

  1. Use only approved solar eclipse glasses. They should meet the international standard ISO 12312-2 and have it printed on them. 
  2. Inspect eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers for any scratches or other damage. Do not use if any scratches or damage is noted. 
  3. Always supervise children using the glasses. The eclipse glasses are one size fits all, so be aware glasses may fall off children's faces. Our suggestion is to have children hold the glasses on their face. Watch and make sure they are not taking glasses off while looking at the sun.
  4. Proper technique:  Turn away from the sun, cover your eyes with eclipse glasses then look at the sun.  Turn away from the before removing your eclipse glasses.
  5. There are differing opinions on how long to view the solar eclipse with eclipse glasses. Prior to 2015, the recommendation was you should not look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time. Now NASA states that as long as the glasses meet the safety standard, you may look at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun as long as you would like.  We suggest to err on the side of caution and give your eyes a break every 2-3 minutes. 

Other Safe Viewing Methods

  1. No. 14 welder's glass- This is the darkest shade of welder's glass available and is the only shade suitable for viewing an eclipse. Do NOT stack welder's glass: e.g. shade 10+ shade 4
  2. Special solar filter for telescope/binoculars/camera- Must be mounted on the front lens (objective). Do NOT look through telescope/binoculars/camera without a proper solar filter for the devices even if you are wearing approved eclipse glasses.
  3. Pinhole camera or projection- Can be made from a shoe box or other object; various specific designs and instructions are readily available from numerous sources.  VIEW projected image, do NOT look through pinhole directly at the eclipse. 

For more detailed information about the eclipse and frequently asked quetions visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov