As the excitement surrounding the upcoming solar eclipse continues to grow, the interest in finding the best and safest way to view the moment is all the talk.
On August 21, 2017, the moon will mask the sun for a rare total solar eclipse over North America. The moon will completely cover the sun and residents spanning from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina will be able to see the sun's full corona. Other residents outside of this path will be able to see the partial solar eclipse as the moon covers part of the sun's disk. Learn more about the Eclipse here.
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NASA wants to make sure you're wearing the right kind of eclipse glasses to watch the astronomical moment. Here are the guidelines for official eclipse viewing glasses:
- Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
- Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
- Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
- Not use homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses -- not even very dark ones -- because they are not safe for looking directly at the Sun
NASA is warning there are unsafe solar glasses being distributed. Check this document to make sure you have NASA approved glasses.
The American Astronomical Society has verified the following five manufacturers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for these products:
- American Paper Optics
- Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)
- Rainbow Symphony
- Thousand Oaks Optical
- TSE 17
An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. (Source: Eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety)
Moral of the story, check your eclipse glasses for these requirements and if you don't have one of the approved pair of eclipse glasses, do not look at the eclipse without protection, or you could damage your eyesight.