Can You Really Go Blind Staring at a Solar Eclipse?
Elementary schools are telling teachers to keep kids indoors. Stores selling inadequate solar glasses. Thousands traveling to states that are to have total eclipse. What is all the hype? Can you REALLY go blind? A little about the eclipse, where and when you can see it and how to protect your eyes.
First, this is the first total eclipse we’ve had in 90 years, so not many are still around from last time.
There are better parts to be in the US. Here in Ca we will have about 2/3 of the sun blocked. Yes, you should protect your eyes. Especially in places where there is’t a total eclipse. There is no reason you should be staring at 1/3 of the sun, right? Besides that, you should never stare at the the sun.
Second, while a quick glance might not be horrible, we should never look at the sun. Staring at the sun can cause damage to our rods and cone cells in our retinas. Crazy, but our retinas do not have pain receptors, so damage can be done without any warnings of the harm.
Third, NASA does not advise it.
In other words, not sure how long it’d take to go blind but the sun can definitely cause damage so don’ t do it!
On the bright side, there are other ways you can see the eclipse without at looking directly at the sun.
You can purchase solar glasses but make sure they are from a reliable source. Rumor has it a lot of sales are being pulled on Amazon for cheap imitation solar glasses. Make sure you get a decent pair, or a pair for everyone, since you will want to look together. You should have bought them a few months ago, now they are all overpriced. But you can try. You still have time to order on Amazon if you do it ASAP and have Prime.
You can make your own viewer with a cereal box.
Make a pinhole viewer.
Use indirect light, like plants or a hole in a barn roof.
Follow the Boy Scouts idea to make one:
Use a welding Mask and look through it.
Here is the list of the cities with the best viewing of the eclipse.
Since this happening on Monday find the time the sun is blocked the most in your area and try to get outside. You have the weekend to find glasses or build your own viewer. Enjoy the time with your kids. Especially since this might not be happening again in our lifetime.