Risks from Viewing the Solar Eclipse

On August 21st, a total eclipse will cross our country from coast-to-coast for the first time since 1918. (There have been other total eclipses, but none crossing the country since then.) Those living somewhere along the center path will see a total eclipse, and much of the U.S. will experience a partial eclipse.

Here in Palmetto, Florida, weather permitting, we will be able to view a partial eclipse with the countdown starting at 1:18 p.m. and lasting until 4:14 p.m., with the maximum partial eclipse viewable at 2:50 p.m.

There are risks involved in viewing an eclipse. “The only time that the sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye is during a total eclipse, when the moon completely covers the disk of the sun. It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques. (NASA)

Even though the sun will be partially obscured, the remaining crescent sun is intense enough to cause retinal burn, even when the visible light seems low. Permanent eye damage and severe vision loss may result! Unfortunately, because of the high interest level in this eclipse, imitation eclipse glasses are being sold that do NOT meet the recommended safety requirements.

If you have purchased your own eclipse viewing glasses, please be sure to check whether they were purchased from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) list of reputable vendors: Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers.

At Southeastern Guide Dogs, vision loss is an issue we care about. Protect your eyes, and don’t look directly at the eclipse!

Posted on August 15, 2017 | Category: Blog