For the first time in over 38 years, individuals living within the contiguous United States will have an opportunity to view a total solar eclipse – that is, when the moon passes between earth and the sun and the moon completely covers the sun momentarily. With much of America’s heartland in the path of totality, and the rest of the continental United States having the opportunity to see at least a partial solar eclipse, nearly 300 million Americans will have a chance to witness this rare and fascinating phenomenon.
Many people, both young and old, are excited about their ability to watch a solar eclipse in its entirety but it is important to take the proper precautions to ensure your health and safety throughout so that the solar eclipse can be enjoyed without damage to your vision.
- Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection or solar filters for optical devices
- Never use standard sunglasses to look directly at the sun
- Only use eye protection or solar filters approved for solar eclipse viewing that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard and have manufacturer information clearly visible
- Never use solar eclipse eye protection or solar filters that are older than three years or are scratched or damaged in any way
- Never use homemade solar eclipse eye protection or solar filters
- Only don or remove your solar eclipse glasses when looking away from the sun
Alternatively, you can also view a solar eclipse through a pinhole projector that streams sunlight through a small hole on to a screen. This is an indirect and safe method to watch an eclipse but the sun should never be looked at directly through the pinhole projector itself.
If you have the ability to catch any portion of the solar eclipse, take advantage of an opportunity to be a part of such a rare celestial event. Just be sure to enjoy yourself safely and take proper