Sunday, April 14, 2024

Here’s what might occur if you watch an eclipse the wrong way — and how to steer clear of problems this April

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A super cool total solar eclipse is happening on April 8, and lots of folks in Mexico, the United States, and Canada will get to see it.

The experts say it’s a rare treat and won’t happen again until August 2044, so enjoy it if you can, but be safe! Regular sunglasses won’t cut it because the moon will cover the sun’s face completely.

If you’re in the “path of totality,” where the moon totally covers the sun, you’ll see the coolest eclipse. If not, you’ll still catch a glimpse of a partial eclipse, where the moon covers part of the sun.

But, and this is important, never stare directly at the sun without proper protection. NASA says it’s only safe during the total eclipse, when the moon fully blocks the sun’s light.

So, how to watch it safely? Get certified eclipse glasses or use a special solar viewer. Sunglasses won’t do the trick; these special glasses are way darker and meet safety standards.

Remember, keep those glasses on before looking up and turn away from the sun before taking them off. If you wear regular glasses, keep them on and put the eclipse glasses over them.

Don’t use cameras, telescopes, or binoculars without the right filters along with your eclipse glasses or viewer. Solar rays can still cause serious eye damage.

You can also use welding filters with a shade number of 12 or higher to view the eclipse safely. But, be aware, the sun might look green instead of yellowish-orange or white.

And, here’s a pro tip: Save your eclipse glasses for future eclipses as long as they’re in good shape. They don’t expire if they meet safety standards.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can still watch the eclipse indirectly using a pinhole projector. Just don’t face the sun and look through the pinhole.

So, get ready for an awesome celestial show and make sure to protect those peepers!

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