Solar Eclipse Safety

Solar Eclipse Safety

We are excited about the upcoming solar eclipse which will be occurring on Monday August 21, 2017.

The eclipse is estimated to begin in Regina at 10:30 am with maximum eclipse at 11:46am. The solar eclipse event is estimated to end at 1:04 pm.

We want to share some important tips to keep your eyes safe and minimize the risk of vision loss that can occur during this type of solar event. There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse, even when using solar filter glasses.

Viewing the eclipse improperly can result in solar retinopathy which typically results in crescent shaped burns the central retinal tissues of one or both eyes.

This damage can be temporary or can result in permanent vision loss or even blindness. As the eclipse passes over many places, including Saskatchewan, the moon will not block 100% of the sun.

Because so much of its light is blocked by the moon, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun typically does.

During an eclipse, there is no pain associated with looking at the sun and as such it is easier to stare for a bit….unfortunately, even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right in your most precious central vision.

Just like sunburn to the skin, the effects are not felt or noticed immediately.

 

Please take precautions during this solar event:

1.     If you are planning to view the solar eclipse it must be viewed using ONLY ISO 12312-2 accredited and certified solar eclipse viewing glasses. Be aware there are counterfeit viewing glasses out there that claim to be certified but are not. Visit https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters to find reputable sources of solar eclipse viewing glasses.

 

2.     Inspect your eclipse viewing glasses for any defects or scratches and do not use them if found to be defective or scratched.

 

3.     Ensure proper fit of the eclipse viewing glasses to ensure there are no gaps or spaces not providing coverage of the eyes. This is especially important if children are using the glasses as they are not sized for children. Resist any temptation to peek around the eclipse viewing glasses.

 

Viewing through eclipse viewing glasses is extremely dark and little else other than the ring of light from the sun can be seen. This prompts many people especially children to try to peek around them to see what’s going on. Viewing the eclipse directly without protection, even very briefly, can cause severe, permanent damage to the retina and vision loss.

 

4.     Regular sunglasses, polarized sunglasses, photochromic lenses or other typical sunglass lenses do NOT provide adequate protection for viewing the eclipse. Solar eclipse viewing glasses are thousands of times darker than standard sunwear lenses.

 

5.     Alternatively, you can make a pinhole camera to view the eclipse indirectly. Visit https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/how-to-make-a-pinhole-camera/ to find instructions. on this. With the pinhole camera you should only view the projected image from the camera. Do NOT look through the pinhole and view the eclipse directly.

 

6.     View the eclipse safely live online at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive.

 

7.     Please take these precautions, be safe and enjoy the show.