Eye Safety Tips for Viewing the Eclipse

Date Posted: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

WBOY - An eclipse is a rare and striking phenomenon, you won’t want to miss but there are some safeties features that you want to consider before viewing the eclipse on Monday, August 21.

“Starting at 1:10 the moon will start covering the path of the sun and somewhere around 2:30 about 80 percent, 80 to 90 percent of the sun will actually be covered by the moon.  So we won’t be able to see the things that you would see in a total eclipse.  You won’t be able to see the corona around the sun, for example,” said Davis & Elkins College Physics Professor Renaud Stauber.

The solar eclipse is fast approaching and safety measures need to be taken before viewing the event on Monday.  Optometrists are urging spectators to consider what damage they could incur if viewing the event improperly.

“Probably the safest way that we can watch the eclipse is actually to watch it indirectly either on television or watch it online,” said Optometrist Sheena Hunt.

“Staring at the sun can cause damage to many parts of the eye and the biggest damage can happen to the retina, that’s the back part of the eye here.  So if we are to stare at the sun even during a partial eclipse we could get a permanent scar, a burn, if you will, of the retina that could cause permanent vision loss.  So we definitely want to avoid that," continued Hunt.

The American Astronomical Society, American Optometric Association, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration urge viewers to not be fooled by counterfeit glasses and make sure to use glasses labeled with ISO 12312-2 for the best protection.

Supplies are limited but glasses like these will be available at most viewing parties around the state and West Virginians will only see a partial eclipse as we are not far enough south to see a full eclipse on the Monday event.