Solar Eclipse: Safely Viewing the Eclipse

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The solar eclipse on August 21st will leave millions of Americans with memories to last a lifetime as the moon’s shadow races across the US at more than 1,500 miles per hour.

But when it comes to viewing the eclipse, safety is paramount.

“Yes we never want to look directly at the sun with the naked eye. That can do extreme damage to your eye,” advises Dr. Nicholeen Viall, a scientist at NASA.

Sunglasses are not enough protection. You can buy specially designed solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun. Be sure the glasses are certified for direct observation of the sun – look for ISO 12312-2 certification. Scratched glasses are not safe to use.

Safe solar viewing is also possible with shade number 14 welder’s glass or darker.

The brief period of totality is the only time it is safe to remove the eclipse glasses and observe the moon in front of the sun.

If you are experiencing the eclipse from Chattanooga, Dalton, or anywhere outside of totality, you’ll need to wear the glasses the whole time.

In the path of totality, you’ll also need eye projection if you want to watch the moon’s progress as it covers the sun for the hour and a half before and after totality.

You can skip the glasses and use an indirect eclipse viewing method.

Instead of looking directly at the sun, you can use a pinhole projector to watch a projection of the eclipse.

Dr. Viall says, “The projected image of the sun will go down on the ground, or on a piece of paper below you, and you can watch safely then the moon come across the sun and that’s the safe way to watch it if you’re in partial eclipse or even if you’re in a total eclipse before and after totality.”

There are several ways to make pinhole projectors. A simple hole in a piece of paper will work. You can turn a cereal box into a pinhole projector, too.

NASA says it is not safe to view the eclipse through a camera viewfinder, binoculars, or sunglasses.

 

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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