This Monday, August 21st, the lower 48 states are in for a special treat. For the first time in 99 years, Americans living along a band that stretches across the entire country will be able to witness a total eclipse of the sun. This is the first event of its kind ever to only be visible in the USA. There is nationwide excitement as people make plans to view this once in a lifetime event. At 39dollarglasses.com, we are just as excited and wanted to share with you a few tips to safely view and enjoy this event.
We all know that exposure to the sun for extended periods can cause damage to our eyes. Viewing an eclipse is no exception, particularly since you won’t feel the discomfort of the sun’s brightness. Think of your eyes like a strong magnifier. Even a small slice of radiation from the sun hitting your retina can cause permanent damage in less than a minute. It is extremely important that everyone wear protective eyewear with the official international ISO 12312-2 certification. These special eclipse glasses are very inexpensive and are available at a variety of retailers. Another option is to view the eclipse indirectly. You can do this by creating a pinhole in a piece of paper, standing with your back to the sun and holding the paper up to allow the sun to shine through the pinhole onto a second sheet lying on the ground.
Depending on where you are, it is likely that you will see a partial eclipse of the sun with a percentage of sun always visible. If you are lucky enough to be in the exclusive 70 mile wide band of the full eclipse, then you may remove your eye protection for the brief moment when the sun is completely covered by the moon. Remember, It is very important that only approved eclipse eyewear be worn. Regular eyeglasses and sunglasses – even those with full UV protection – are not safe or adequate for viewing a solar eclipse, as the radiation emitted by the sun extends beyond the UV range. Even the darkest sunglasses with full UV protection do not offer enough eye protection, as they are more geared towards lifetime cumulative exposure. There is one exception some may have around the house or at work: welders’ glasses or face shields with a shade rating of 14 and higher are approved for viewing the eclipse.
Be safe and enjoy this once in a lifetime event!
Founded by eye doctors, 39DollarGlasses.com strives to help our customers take better care of their eyes. Eye protection is not only needed on special occasions like a total solar eclipse, but everyday. Whether you’re at the beach or on your computer at work, eye health is important.