How to Not Go Blind During the Solar Eclipse

In case you haven’t heard, it’s dangerous to stare directly at the sun.

On August 21st, 2017, hundreds of thousands of people across the Continental United States will be doing exactly what their mothers warned them not to do – staring directly at the sun. Staring at the sun on a normal day is fairly bad and can cause plenty of UV-related issues to your eyes. However, on the day of the “Great American Solar Eclipse”, the sunlight will be even more dangerous. Looking at a partial eclipse can literally burn the image into the back of your eye. Scary, right? Well, don’t worry – there is a safe way to view the eclipse! Check out some tips below:

 

  1. Plan Ahead
    Just head over to NASA and you can see the exact path the sun will be taking! Knowing the times can help you plan a party or viewing, know when to grab your glasses, and help you be prepared. For traveling, remember that crowds will be all heading toward totality so accurately plan for extra traffic; that way you aren’t stuck on the freeway during this one in a lifetime event.
  2. Solar Eclipse Glasses
    As much as we know you love your Fuse lenses, even our darkest lens (which is Fuse +Plus Glacier BTW) lets in around 8% of light. In contrast, eclipse viewing 
    glasses only let in about 0.003% of light as well as reducing radiation. These are specialty glasses that you absolutely need if you plan on looking up, even if you do not live in the path of totality. 
  3. Test Them!
    A lot of manufacturers know that Americans are jumping on the solar eclipse wagon and are unfortunately pumping out glasses without accurate testing and false ISO ratings. To ensure your glasses are safe, you can check out the American Astronomical Society’s list of reputable dealers here. When you put them on, they should be so dark that you can not see anything at all – no other light sources – until you look up at the sun.
  4. Keep Them On!
    If you live in the path of totality, you can take off your glasses ONLY during the totality phase of the eclipse. Even the slightest band of sunlight peeking through is still very dangerous to your eyes! Keep the glasses on until your vision is totally blacked out; then, you know it’s safe to take them off (but only for a minute or two).
  5. Save the Puppies! (Or Not)
    OK, I’ll admit the first thing I googled was whether or not my dog needs solar eclipse glasses. However, most pets should be good! It definitely wouldn’t hurt to affix them with a pair (and it would make for a cute picture). But, on a normal day how often do you stare at the sun? Probably zero times because it hurts. Our animals are the same way and they likely won’t know the difference between E-Day and any other day. I would just limit outside time, leave them at home while you’re at eclipse viewing parties, and keep the blinds shut.
  6. Be Camera Wary
    It is definitely a once in a lifetime experience that some people probably want a picture of. However, looking through cameras and binoculars, even with eclipse glasses on, concentrates and magnifies light – which is very dangerous. Many companies sell eclipse filters for your camera so you can eclipse-proof your equipment! You will need one if you plan on photographing this event. However, because of the distance, brightness, and many other factors it can be hard to get a good eclipse picture. Unless you are a professional, maybe just spend your time enjoying the eclipse instead of being frustrated behind the lens. 

We hope this helps you safely view the eclipse. We definitely aren’t eclipse experts; if you are interested in having the best eclipse experience possible, we recommend you go check out Eclipse-101 at NASA.gov. NASA has everything you’ll need to know and will even have a live stream of the eclipse on the 21st! 

 


Header Image from NASA.gov

Posted by Jessica

Jessica is a caffeine dependent life form that can often be found helping with Fuse events, sending out emails, watching cat videos, giving away all of our stuff, or answering your questions on social media.

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