Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

The upcoming solar eclipse is fast approaching.  Are you prepared with the proper safety equipment to view this rare event?  The 2017 eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse in 38 years for the continental U.S.  and occurs when the Moon lines up directly between the Sun and the Earth and a shadow is cast on Earth.

Even though the main event is the exact lineup, the period of time right before and after the eclipse are really neat too.  This is when the proper eye equipment is necessary.  NASA and the American Optometric Association encourage everyone to use approved solar eclipse viewers or glasses to view the partially eclipsed sun.  These tips below will ensure everyone has a safe and fun eclipse viewing experience:

  1. Eclipse glasses must meet International Standard ISO 12312-2.  The lenses should be free from any damage or scratches.  Please carefully inspect your glasses and discard if any damage is noticed.
  2. While watching the eclipse, put on your glasses and cover your eyes with your hands before looking at the sun. Before removing your glasses, turn your head away from the sun first.  Do not look at a partially eclipsed sun without protection!
  3. Do not view the eclipse through binoculars or a telescope even while wearing eclipse glasses.
  4. If you wear eyeglasses, you may place your eclipse glasses on over your regular eyewear.
  5. If you are unable to find solar eclipse glasses, you can safely view the eclipse through a homemade pinhole viewing box. Instructions can be found here: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/projection

Please remember that it is not safe to view the eclipse by looking through homemade filters of any kind.  Pop-Tart wrappers, CD’s, exposed film, and welder’s glasses will not provide the proper protection to your eyes.  This may result in permanent damage to your eyes which you may not notice immediately and the damage may occur without a sensation of pain.

At Lincoln Health System, we encourage you to enjoy this rare occurrence.  Practice Safe Eclipse viewing and supervise your children!

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