The Importance of Solar Eclipse Safety

Did you know there is major solar eclipse coming soon? As the time draws near, more and more people will be planning special eclipse parties and events. In fact, eclipses bring out the curiosity in just about everyone. However, viewing an eclipse can be just as dangerous as looking directly into the sun. This is why solar eclipse safety is important. Here is valuable information on eclipses and your vision, to help keep you and your family safe from harm.

Solar Eclipses and the Eyes

When you were young, older people and parents may have told you never to look directly at a solar eclipse. This is not just an “old wives tale”, there is a great deal of truth in these warnings. Under normal circumstances, you are not going to sit and stare at the sun for very long. It would be very uncomfortable and painful. However, this is not the case with an eclipse and the reason you should take eclipse safety precautions.

The Dangers of Infra Red Light

When you look at the sun, your eyes are being bombarded by extremely intense light. However, it’s not this intensive light which causes the damage. It is the infra red light. There is only so much light on the spectrum we can see, and ultra violet and infra red light rays are not visible to the human eye. This kind of light over stimulates the retina and can cause damage known as retinopathy.

Your retina has many cells which sense light and this is what makes it possible to see. Damage to the retina occurs without you feeling it, as there is usually no pain or discomfort. This is what makes solar eclipse viewing so dangerous when proper eclipse safety rules are not followed.

How to Watch an Eclipse of the Sun

Here are things you should not use to view an eclipse with:

 * Normal sunglasses
 * Two pairs of sunglasses (this will not filter out damaging light rays)
 * DVD or CDs
 * Photo film
 * Smoked or darkened glass (no matter how dark)
 * Only use things approved for eclipse safety, such as:
 * CE, ISO certified eclipse glasses or viewers
 * Approved telescope or camera lens filters
 * Welder’s glass
 * Homemade devices like pin hole projectors

Ensuring a Safe Viewing Experience

It can be very time consuming to make homemade viewers, and you can find excellent viewers which are very affordable and safe. However, make sure children are fully supervised during an eclipse and remember not to watch it without some kind of approved eclipse safety viewer.

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