Millions of people all over America will be looking up at the sky to see the eclipse. Unfortunately, far to many of them (perhaps mostly kids) will have permanent eye damage because they viewed the eclipse without taking the proper precautions. We don’t want this to happen to you or your loved ones.
Here is a step by step guide for safely watching a solar eclipse:
1. Inspect & Test equipment
- Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them.
- You should not be able to see anything except for very bright light while wearing the eclipse glasses.
- If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them.
For information about where to get the proper eyewear or handheld viewers, check out the American Astronomical Society.
If you were not able to find eclipse glasses,
DO NOT TRY USING OTHER KINDS OF GLASSES.
While you can’t view the eclipse directly, You can see what the eclipse looks like projected on another surface.
You can easily build a eclipse viewer from a shoe box or a pin hole projector a piece of paper by simply poking a small hole in the paper or aluminum foil, etc.
2. Read Instructions
- Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses.
- Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
3. Get to you viewing spot early
- Premier viewing spots are going to fill up fast.
- Don’t drive with the solar glasses on
- Be prepared to face lots of traffic. Expect delays.
- Pack food and drinks. You don’t want to be waiting in line.
4. Setup Equipment before the eclipse
- You will not want to spend precious viewing time trying to fix problems with equipment.
- Cameras and smart phones will need to have special filters as the sun might damage the sensors.
- Be certain to cover any view finders with eclipse viewers as well.
- Talk with an expert astronomer if you want to use a special solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.
5. Wear Protection when the eclipse is just about to occur
- Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer.
- Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices.
This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.
6. View the eclipse
The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse (TOTALITY).
IF YOU’RE IN THE TOTAL ECLIPSE REGION
When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE TOTAL ECLIPSE REGION
Put your solar viewer on, making certain your vision in completely covered and that there are no scratches or cracks in the viewer.Enjoy looking at the eclipse.
7. Observe Carefully
- Look at the stars and even planets that are now visible.
- Listen to the sounds of nature change especially the birds.
- How are pets acting?
- Can you feel a change in temperature?
8. Record the experience
Millions of people, scientists and professional photographers will be photographing the eclipse. Who is going to take a picture of you?
Remember to keep your glasses on if you look up.
This way you can see who looks cute & who looks dorky for years to come.
- After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
- Hug the person to your left. (The person to your right has read this article, they will be too eager)
- Use extreme caution kissing anyone while wearing the eclipse glasses. You might not kiss the right person.
- Avoid kissing altogether if you have an infectious disease or a jealous spouse, or if both you and the target have braces or if you are a boy are between the ages of 7 and 12. (in which case the whole idea is just gross)
- Do not wear the eclipse glasses while driving.
10. View the eclipse coverage online
Consider watching online or find an event at a local planetarium, science center or club where you know the right safety measures have been taken.
NASA will live stream the eclipse and, as a bonus, NASA offers safe ways to view the eclipse from airplanes, balloons, high powered telescopes and other locations.
You can even contribute to science
Google has teamed up with the University of California, Berkeley and a huge army of citizen scientists to create a Megamovie to document the eclipse from various vantage points.
Join the effort by contributing your video of the eclipse at https://eclipsemega.movie/
Since man has walked the earth, people thought eclipses signaled the end of the world and countless did permanent damage to their eye sights. Armed with a little knowledge, you might be the first person in your family history to safely enjoy this heavenly spectacle.