Safety Tips for the upcoming Solar Eclipse

The moon will cross in front of the sun on this coming Monday, August 21, just after 1:00 p.m. ET. During this solar eclipse, in some areas skies will darken and stars will twinkle. The experts say everyone in America will see at least a partial eclipse. Those living inside a 70-mile stretch known as the “path of totality” will see the total eclipse when the moon fully covers the sun. NASA projects the longest duration of totality will be near Carbondale, IL for a period of about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Times for partial eclipse vary depending on your location. (See charts below.)

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says the only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special solar filters found in eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers. AAO advises looking for glasses with the certification insignia ISO 12312-2. According to NASA, looking directly at the sun is unsafe, except during the brief total phase of the solar eclipse when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face.

In the event that you are driving or outside during this solar eclipse, please make sure to review the following tips:

  • Do not look directly at the sun.
  • Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses.
  • Use special purpose solar filters such as eclipse glasses and follow the instructions.
  • In any stage of the eclipse, don’t look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binocular, or another device. Never use solar filters with these devices as the concentrated rays can cause serious eye injury.
  • Inspect your solar filter before using it; if it is scratched or damaged, discard it.