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Protect Your Eyes Watching the Sun

Never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. You can seriously hurt your eyes, and even go blind.

Children watching a solar eclipse wearing protective tinted glasses.

Wear eclipse glasses for a solar eclipse.

Make sure your eclipse glasses are safe, or the Sun’s UV radiation can seriously injure the retinas in the eyes.

©iStockphoto.com/AlbertoRoura

The Sun’s UV radiation can burn the retinas in the eyes leading to permanent damage or even blindness. This can occur even if your eyes are exposed to direct sunlight for just a few seconds.

How Not to Watch Solar Eclipses

According to NASA, the following materials should never be used to view a solar eclipse:

  • sunglasses of any kind
  • color film
  • medical X-ray film
  • smoked glass
  • floppy disks

Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse

The only way to safely view the Sun – eclipsed or not – is to either project or filter the Sun's rays.

Diagram of a DIY pinhole projector.
DIY: Simple pinhole projector.
DIY: Simple pinhole projector from two sheets of paper is easy to make.
©timeanddate.com

Projectors

Projection works well. You can make your own box projector or use a telescope or binoculars. However, don't look through the telescope’s eyepiece or side-mounted finder scope while projecting the Sun's image onto a screen.

Eclipse Glasses

If you are not the DIY type, check online or with your local natural history museum, space museum, or astronomy club for where to get proper eclipse glasses.

NASA recommends welder's glasses rated 14 or higher. These can be found at your local welding supply store. Keep in mind that welder glass grading may be different in different countries.

Solar Filters

You can use special solar filters to watch the Sun during a solar eclipse, but use the proper type of solar filter that is designed for eclipses. Check that filters do not crack under the Sun’s magnified and focused intensity. Solar filters must be treated with care, or they can quickly become damaged and unsafe to use.

Topics: Astronomy, Eclipses, Sun

Next Total Solar Eclipse

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Total Solar Eclipse

Aug 21, 2017 at 15:46 UTCSee more


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Protect Your Eyes

  1. Never Look Directly at the Sun
  2. Simple Pinhole Projector
  3. Eclipse Projector in a Box
  4. Binoculars / Telescope Projector

Eclipses & Transits


Solar Eclipses

  1. Different Types of Eclipses
  2. What Are Solar Eclipses?
  3. How Often Do Solar Eclipses Occur?
  4. Total Solar Eclipses
  5. Partial Solar Eclipses
  6. Annular Solar Eclipses
  7. Solar Eclipses in History
  8. Solar Eclipse Myths
  9. Magnitude of Eclipses

Eclipses

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