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Solar Eclipse Safety

Are you planning to watch the solar eclipse on August 21st?  If so, make sure that your plans include eye safety.  Staring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right type of eye protection can permanently damage your retina and it can even cause a type of blindness called solar retinopathy.

The only safe way to look directly at the sun during the eclipse is to wear eclipse glasses (special-purpose solar filters) or to use hand-held solar viewers.  Be sure to read the directions and to inspect your solar glasses/viewers before the eclipse to make sure they have no scratches or damage.  Both devices must also meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard and should be purchased from a reputable vender.  Regular sunglasses or homemade filters will not provide enough protection. 

If you are concerned about looking directly at the sun even with eclipse glasses/viewers, consider making a pinhole projector or viewer as a safe and indirect option to view the eclipse. NASA offers resources to make your own viewer.

Lastly, cameras, telescopes, binoculars and similar devices that you plan to use during the eclipse will need a solar filter even if you are wearing eclipse glasses.  Without the solar filters, the intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter on your glasses and your eyes. 

Solar eclipses are something that you do not get to see every day so take a few precautions and enjoy this great phenomenon.

Resources
American Academy of Ophthalmology Solar Eclipse Eye Safety
U.S. Department of Transportation Solar Eclipse Transportation Information
Eclipses in Columbus, Ohio
NASA Solar Eclipse 2017