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How to Safely View a Solar Eclipse

July 14, 2017 12:39 am

With a solar eclipse coming in August, consumers across the country are gearing up for a great sky show. But solar eclipses aren’t all oohs and ahhs. To keep yourself safe, the AOA is sharing a few tips for viewing:

Get centered and enjoy the view. Within the path of totality, you can safely witness the two or more minutes when the moon completely covers the sun with the naked eye. Otherwise, your eyes should always be protected by verified viewing tools. Never look directly at the sun without eye protection, even briefly.  

Know your duration. Outside of the path of totality, always use solar filters. O.D.s want to reinforce that the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters or other ISO-certified filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. The AOA encourages ordering solar eclipse glasses in advance and recommends referring to the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) site for a list of manufacturers.

Be aware of harmful solar exposure. If you stare at the sun without protection, you may experience damage to your retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) called "solar retinopathy." This damage can occur without any sensation of pain, since the retina does not have pain receptors. The injury can be temporary or permanent. Visit your local doctor of optometry immediately if an accident occurs.

Visit your doctor of optometry. Check in with your doctor of optometry for information about safely viewing the eclipse. If you experience any problems with your eyes or vision after the eclipse, your optometrist will be able to provide you with the medical care you need. To find a doctor of optometry near you, visit the AOA's doctor locator at aoa.org.

Source: aoa.org/2017eclipse.

Published with permission from RISMedia.