14Feb2017

How To Witness A Solar Eclipse Safely

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Growing up, authoritative figures always warned not to look directly into the sun. Why? Solar retinopathy, or what’s also known as short-term damage, is a direct consequence of exposing your sensitive corneas to the sun.

Viewing a solar eclipse with the naked eye is a whole different ball game–and it should never be taken lightly. Read on to discover how to witness a solar eclipse safely. What Happens to Our Eyes When We Look Into the Sun?

It’s as simple as this: the sun puts out more power than the human eye can handle. When too much ultraviolet light floods our retinas, it burns. The damage that a magnifying glass can do when directing the sun’s rays is only a fraction of what the power the sun actually harnesses. Alternatively, when you look directly into the sun, the lens in your eye plays the role of the magnifying glass, and your retina takes the hit.

On an average day, looking into the sun will be painful, but the pain causes you to look away before too much damage is done–ultimately saving you from more severe damage.

How This Changes During a Solar Eclipse

When there’s a solar eclipse, the sun hides behind the moon, temporarily quelling the outpour of ultraviolet light. Though it may seem safe to look at it with your naked eye because it’s not bright, when the face of the sun slips out from behind the moon, it surprises the eyes. No matter how fast you may try to react, you can’t look away fast enough before the direct hit of ultraviolet light floods your retinas. This much light can seriously damage your retinas, and in the worst case scenario, it can even cause permanent blindness.

 Ways to Enjoy a Solar Eclipse

If you want to witness a solar eclipse, worry-free, there are plenty of ways that you can have an enjoyable and 100% safe experience. From protective glasses that you can purchase online, to home-made indirect viewing methods that are quick and easy to put together, safely viewing a solar eclipse has never been easier. Here are a few popular options:

 Invest in a Pair of Eclipse Glasses

If you want to watch the solar eclipse directly, snag a pair of eclipse glasses from the Rainbow Symphony store. Their shades are specifically designed to filter out 100% of harmful ultra-violet light, 100% of harmful infrared light, and 99.999% of intense visible light, and each pair is manufactured from CE certified film to ensure the highest level of viewing quality.

Your view of the sun will be in an orange hue, and you can use them to safely observe upcoming solar eclipses and planetary transits and study sunspots and other solar phenomenon for years to come.

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 Build Your Own Pinhole Projector

The most common indirect viewing method that you can make to safely observe an upcoming solar eclipse is a pinhole projector. All you need are two pieces of plain white card and a pin. Use the pin to create a small hole in the center of one card, stand with your back facing the eclipse, and hold the aforementioned card up into the air so that it can get the full force of the eclipse.

Hold your other card in front of you to create the screen for your homemade projector (the image of the eclipse will be projected through the hole and onto the screen.) While the image on your card will be inverted, what matters most is that it’ll be safe to look at.

 Upgrade Your Image with a Pair of Binoculars

Never look directly into the binoculars to witness the solar eclipse. Looking directly into your binoculars, telescope, or other optical device will damage your retinas. This example is all about how you can turn a pair of binoculars into an enhanced version of the projector detailed above.

Attach your binoculars to a tripod and place the large end of the binoculars toward the sun. Cover one of the eyepieces and hold a piece of plain white card about a foot away from the small end that you’re using–creating the screen for your projection. Make use of your binoculars’ focus wheel to adjust your image and increase your viewing quality.

 Get Out and View Safely!

With these tips, you can witness the next solar eclipse safely. The next time you want to observe a solar phenomena, make sure you put them to the test!

Author Bio: Carl Turner is a freelance writer and an eclipse chaser from Los Angeles, California. When he is not busy giving people great tips and advice on solar eclipses, he enjoys researching new topics and writing.

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