4 Simple Ways to Stay Safe When Watching a Solar Eclipse
About once every 18 months, the sun, moon, and Earth line up perfectly with each other, fully blocking the sunlight for a short period of time. When a total solar eclipse happens, it is something you want to see since it is an uncommon event. However, you have to be careful and make sure that you observe it with caution so that you can take in the view without harming your eyes.
Since everything appears darkened, it is natural to want to look up, but without the proper protection, there is a risk of retina damage. The cells in the retina can sustain damage, resulting in permanent vision impairment or loss. It is important to remember that even though the sun is temporarily blocked, it is still putting out infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Even just a few seconds of viewing is enough to cause some damage if you do not protect your eyes.
During an eclipse, your pupils are also dilated since the sky is dark. This lets more light get into your eyes which can result in more damage. When the damage is occurring, you will not have a warning or experience pain. Because of this, you likely will have no idea your eyes are injured until you notice a reduction in your vision.
Since total solar eclipses are so infrequent, when one does occur and is visible in your area, you definitely want to look at it. Just make sure that you take the proper safety precautions so that your eyes are protected during the event.
1- Consider Indirect Viewing
You can use a pinhole projector to look at the eclipse indirectly. However, make sure that the person who creates this protector knows what they are doing so that it protects your eyes.
2- Wear Eclipse Glasses
These glasses work to block both the sun’s infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Just make sure that the one that you choose has an ISO 12312-2 certification. Before viewing the eclipse, inspect your eclipse glasses to make sure that they have no damage or scratches to ensure optimal protection.
3- Use Solar Filters
If you prefer to watch the eclipse via a camera or telescope, you need a solar filter. This filter allows you to watch the eclipse safely because it blocks out harmful rays.
4- Consider a Handheld Solar Viewer
This is a small device that allows you to observe the event by looking through a filter. They are similar to glasses in the protection that they offer, but you hold up the viewer and look through the eyepiece or viewing window. These viewers come with instructions that you must follow carefully.
When you know the total solar eclipse is coming, get your safety measures in place at least a day before the event. This will ensure that you are ready to see the eclipse without any risk to your eye health. Solar eclipses are incredible events to witness so make sure you are prepared to safely view one so you don’t have to miss out. When planning to witness a total solar eclipse, safety should be your top priority. It is essential to take necessary precautions even if you have seen many partial solar eclipses before.