Looking at a solar eclipse can be dangerous without eclipse glasses. Here’s what to know

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DALLAS (AP) — Millions of group on a constrictive set successful North America will look up erstwhile nan entity darkens during a total star eclipse connected April 8. When they do, safety is key.

Staring straight astatine nan sun during a star eclipse aliases astatine immoderate different clip tin lead to imperishable oculus damage. The eclipse is only safe to witnesser pinch nan naked oculus during totality, aliases nan play of full acheronian erstwhile nan satellite wholly covers nan sun.

Those eager to experience nan eclipse should buy eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor. Sunglasses are not protective enough, and binoculars and telescopes without a due star select tin magnify ray from nan sun, making them unsafe.

“Please, please put those glasses on,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

Where to find eclipse glasses

Since counterfeit glasses abound, see purchasing glasses from a section subject depository aliases bid online from a seller cleared connected nan American Astronomical Society’s website.

Eclipse information experts opportunity morganatic eclipse glasses should artifact retired ultraviolet ray from nan sun and astir each visible light. When worn indoors, only very agleam lights should beryllium faintly visible – not family furnishings aliases wallpaper.

Old eclipse glasses from nan 2017 full star eclipse aliases October’s “ring of fire” annular eclipse are safe to reuse, arsenic agelong arsenic they aren’t warped and don’t person scratches aliases holes.

Glasses should opportunity they comply pinch ISO 12312-2 standards, though clone suppliers tin besides people this connection connected their products. NASA does not o.k. aliases certify eclipse glasses.

How to position nan eclipse without glasses

If you don’t person eclipse glasses, you tin still bask nan spectacle done indirect ways specified arsenic making a pinhole projector utilizing family materials.

Poke a spread done a portion of cardstock aliases cardboard, clasp it up during nan eclipse and look down to spot a partial crescent projected below. Holding up a colander aliases a cracker will nutrient a akin effect.

Another trick: Peering astatine nan crushed nether a shady character tin output crescent shadows arsenic nan sunlight filters done branches and leaves.

Eye experts pass against viewing nan eclipse done a telephone camera. The sun’s agleam rays tin besides harm a phone’s integer components.

Why looking astatine a star eclipse is dangerous

Eye harm tin hap without due protection. The sun’s agleam rays tin pain cells successful nan retina astatine nan backmost of nan eye. The retina doesn’t person symptom receptors, truthful there’s nary measurement to consciousness nan harm arsenic it happens. Once nan cells die, they don’t travel back.

Symptoms of star oculus damage, called star retinopathy, see blurred imagination and colour distortion.

In a uncommon lawsuit of eclipse oculus damage, a female who viewed nan 2017 eclipse without capable protection came to Mount Sinai’s New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, complaining of a achromatic spot successful her vision. Doctors discovered retinal harm that corresponded to nan eclipse’s shape.

“The acheronian spot she was describing was successful nan style of a crescent,” said Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, a Mount Sinai ophthalmologist.

There’s nary group norm for really agelong of a glimpse tin lead to imperishable damage. Severity varies based connected cloudiness, aerial contamination and a person’s vantage point.

But doctors opportunity looking astatine a star eclipse for moreover a fewer seconds unprotected isn’t worthy nan risk. There are reports of star retinopathy aft each star eclipse, and U.S. oculus doctors saw dozens of other visits aft nan 1 successful 2017.

Spectators who scheme up tin unafraid a stress-free eclipse viewing experience.

“It tin beryllium vulnerable if we aren’t careful, but it’s besides secure if we return nan basal precautions,” said Dr. Geoffrey Emerson, a committee personnel of nan American Society for Retina Specialists.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from nan Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for each content.