Safely Viewing the Solar Eclipse

There are only 4 days until the solar eclipse! Are you unsure about what you should consider in order to safely view the eclipse? Here are some pointers:

  • Alway supervise children using solar filters
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
  • The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters: “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Be sure to obtain your eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor.
  • Carefully read and follow the instructions that come with your glasses. If they are scratched or damaged then do not use them.
  • Look away from the sun when putting on and removing the glasses. Do not remove the glasses while looking at the sun.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses ARE NOT SAFE for looking at sunlight.
  • DO NOT look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipse sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devise.

What if I Don’t Have Eclipse Glasses or a Solar Viewer?

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is a pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With you back to the sun, lookout your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. You can also just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you’ll see the ground dappled with crescent suns projected by the tiny spaces between leaves.

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