Do’s and Don’ts of Watching an Eclipse

A solar eclipse is a rare event that not many people are fortunate enough to enjoy. If you are lucky enough to be around when a solar eclipse takes place, proper eclipse eye protection is necessary in order to watch it without doing damage to your eyes. It is also essential that you never look directly into the sun at any point without the right type of protection.

The UV radiation produced by the sun can actually burn a person’s retinas, which may lead to permanent damage and in some cases, blindness. This may occur even in cases where the eyes are only expect to the direct sunlight for just a few seconds.

The Do’s of Watching a Solar Eclipse

The only safe way to look at the uneclipsed or the partially eclipsed sun is by filtering the sun’s rays. There are a number of safe options for eclipse eye protection include:

 * Create a pinhole projector: This is the most cost-effective method for viewing the sun. Projecting the image to some type of screen will allow you to safely view the entire event. Some people may have learned how to make one of these in school.
 * Eclipse glasses: If you are not into the DIY approach, there are a number of eclipse eye protection options that can be purchased.
 * Welder’s goggles: If this is the protection of choice, you should use welder glasses that have a rating of 14 or more.
 * Aluminized Mylar sheeting: Easily cut with scissors, it is essential to only use sheets are aluminized.

Specialized solar filters are also able to provide protection for viewing the sun when a solar eclipse is going on. These are essential to ensure proper eye protection.

The Don’ts of Watching a Solar Eclipse

It is pretty obvious that you should never look directly into the sun without the proper type of eclipse eye protection. The following materials should not ever be used when viewing a solar eclipse:

 * Floppy disks or CDs
 * Any type of sunglasses
 * Smoked glass
 * Medical x-ray films with images on them
 * Color film

The bottom line when it comes to watching an eclipse, or looking at the sun at all is to never take chances. If you are not sure about the safety of the viewing device you have, it is important to talk with an expert ahead of time. Proper eclipse eye protection is necessary to always be safe when looking at the sun.

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