Enjoy the Eclipse, Protect Your Eyes

We are now within a week of one of the most anticipated celestial events in recent history, however, before running out of the classroom, workplace, or your home to observe next week’s solar eclipse there is some precautionary information you should know. The Orange County Register published an article yesterday which answered some commonly asked questions related to eye protection during a solar eclipse.  The questions and answers are summarized below but to access the complete article please visit: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/15/how-to-protect-your-eyes-during-next-weeks-solar-eclipse-in-southern-california/

How can I safely view the partial (for southern Californian’s) eclipse?

Wear eclipse glasses or watch with a handheld solar viewer or through a pinhole projection. Eclipse glasses must meet the worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.  Recommended vendors can be found here: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters

Why aren’t dark sun glasses good enough?

Regular sunglasses, at most, absorb 90% of sunlight while eclipse glasses are designed to absorb 99.9%.

What happens if I look directly at a partial eclipse?

Damage can occur in seconds, not minutes. The retina is a delicate structure in the back of the eye that can be permanently scarred by the intensity of the sun.

What has research shown about eye injuries after an eclipse?

Injuries are most common in children or young adults. In particular, teenagers and young adults that still bear the natural developmental trait of “invincibility” tend to incur injuries as a result of believing they cannot be harmed by staring at the sun.

While wearing eclipse glasses, is it safe to take pictures or use binoculars?

No, the intense solar rays coming through the devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.

Is it safe to watch from the car or indoors?

No, tinted glass does not provide adequate protection.

Are some people at greater risk than others?

Yes, those with lighter eye color or underlying eye disease are more susceptible to damage.

For more information about the solar eclipse on August 21st and safety-related measures please visit the NASA website at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how  Stay safe and enjoy!

 

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