Science

Protect eyesight during solar eclipse

Protect eyesight during solar eclipseā€¯

Even the Space Science Institute, which delivered about 2 million pairs of glasses to libraries around the US, has run out of specs for would-be Great American Eclipse viewers.

If you're purchasing them for an event, they can be customized. And a two-pack at Casey's General Store in Verona could be had for $2.99.

You can also get glasses for free at some libraries. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" because this can cause serious damage to your eyes. However, in Madison - where a maximum of 85 percent of the sun will be blocked by the moon at about 1:15 p.m. - that won't be an option.

Safety first! - Be certain to guide your children, and NEVER look at the sun without approved filters, even when the sun is nearly completely eclipsed. They are offering refunds to customers who might have purchased unsafe glasses.

Safe eclipse glasses should be stamped with a label indicating they meet the global "ISO 12312-2" standard - although Fienberg said counterfeiters have also started to print that on fake glasses.

To protect your eyes when viewing the sun or an eclipse, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) advise you to use solar eclipse glasses or other solar filters from recommended manufacturers.

Whether you're planning on going to an eclipse viewing party or just sitting out on a blanket in your backyard, you may want to plan ahead on how you'll actually be viewing the celestial event.

Also, eclipse glasses are not enough of a filter for viewing the sun with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device unless properly filtered. Pinhole viewers create a reflection of the eclipse by filtering the light through a small opening.



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