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NASA: Looking Directly at the Sun Can be Extremely Dangerous and Cause Severe Eye Injury

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photo courtesy of NASA

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to NASA looking directly at the Sun, except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks its bright face, can be extremely dangerous and cause severe eye injury. Specialized eye protection for solar viewing is essential.

Using cameras, binoculars, or telescopes to view any part of the bright Sun without a special-purpose solar filter securely attached over the front of the optics can instantly lead to severe eye damage.

During the partial phases of a solar eclipse, which occur before and after totality, it’s crucial to view the Sun directly through safe solar viewing glasses (often called “eclipse glasses”) or a safe handheld solar viewer. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient for solar viewing, as they do not provide adequate protection. Eclipse glasses should comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard, ensuring they are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses. NASA does not endorse any specific brand of solar viewers.

Before each use, carefully inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer for any signs of damage. If torn, scratched, or otherwise compromised, discard the device immediately. It’s also essential to supervise children using solar viewers to ensure their safety.

Never attempt to view the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays can penetrate the filter and cause severe eye injury.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, consider using an indirect viewing method, such as a pinhole projector. This involves projecting an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface through a small opening, such as a hole punched in an index card. Do not look at the Sun through the pinhole.

Alternatively, you can create your own eclipse projector using a cardboard box, aluminum foil, white paper, tape, and scissors. This projector allows you to safely view the projected image of the Sun without directly looking at it.

It’s crucial to use proper solar filters when viewing the partial phases of the eclipse through cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. These filters must be specifically designed for solar viewing and attached to the front of the optical device. Seek advice from an astronomer before using solar filters with any optical device.

Remember, never look directly at the Sun without adequate eye protection, especially during a solar eclipse. Stay safe and enjoy the celestial spectacle responsibly.

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2 thoughts on “NASA: Looking Directly at the Sun Can be Extremely Dangerous and Cause Severe Eye Injury

  1. Nonsense. Stable geniuses look directly at the sun to own the libs.

  2. Wake me when it’s over….

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