Today is the Solar Eclipse! Everyone is the U.S. will have the chance to see at least a partial eclipse, those on the path of totality will see the full eclipse.
It’s the partial eclipse that is dangerous. Ralph Chou, an optometrist and vision scientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada says,
“The ones we’re really concerned about are the people who have never seen an eclipse before — or just decided that, you know, ‘Today is a nice day to go take a look at a solar eclipse’ — and, ‘Oh, I probably don’t need to do very much to get ready to do that.’ Then I get worried.
I’ve seen a couple of patients over the years where, you know, you’ve got very distinct crescent-shaped scars from looking at a solar eclipse.“
It is NEVER SAFE to look directly at a partial eclipse without special eclipse glasses or filters.
Because of the way the light exposure damages cells of the retina a person who has suffered eye damage typically does not realize that there is any problem until hours after the eclipse which will result in the need of help from an eye care center.
Chou also warns the risk of injury to the retina is even greater if you look at a partial eclipse without protection through a telescope or binoculars which need special filters — it is not safe to look through them while just wearing regular old eclipse glasses.
If you never got around to buying the right sort of protective eclipse glasses, you can still safely “watch” the event projected on a wall or the ground with the help of an index card, a bit of aluminum foil and some tape.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the thin stretch of land across the country that is going to see a total solar eclipse, it’s absolutely OK to look up with your naked eyes during the couple of minutes or so when the moon is completely covering the sun. It’s recommended.
Rick Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society, who has seen a dozen total solar eclipses says,
“It is spectacularly beautiful, and there’s nothing else like it. It’s kind of like falling in love. You can’t describe what that is unless you’ve experienced it.
Going through life without seeing a total eclipse of the sun would be like going through life without ever falling in love. It would be a terrible shame not to have that fundamental, wonderful experience.“
For everything you’d ever want to know about the Solar Eclipse 2017, go here.
Watch the video below for 5 different ways to watch safely and be careful kids. You know that someone who doesn’t know the danger is going to get hurt. Share this post so more people know the dangers.
(Photo, Pixabay; via NPR)