Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Tips For Safe Viewing

Posted: Aug 11 2017, 6:14am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2017, 11:10am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


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Here are Some Precautionary Measures for Viewers of the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21

The total solar eclipse that is going to take place in the current year is such that there are some precautionary measures for the crowds of viewers. They had best follow these tips for the best experience that is safe and secure since no one wants to damage their eyesight while viewing the solar eclipse of 2017.

The fact of the matter is that anyone could lose his or her eyesight watching the sun without proper protection. On August 21st, the moon will be coming in front of the sun thereby blocking it from view. This is what we call a total solar eclipse.

Whatever state you happen to occupy in the United States, you would be tempted to look at the sun with the right precautionary measures. Astronomers and amateurs will be looking up at the sight in the sky. Although many old wive’s tales have been attached to looking at a solar eclipse, they remain doubtable narratives at best.

Yet the caveat remains. Never, no matter what, look at the sun with your vision in an unprotected way. It is the ideal destructive remedy that leads to surefire blindness. Your eyesight is Nature’s precious gift. No one would want to lose this vital function which is the most beautiful of the five senses.

In fact, the only time when the sun could be seen is when it is completely covered by the disc of the moon. The sun could cause extensive damage to the retina. The powerful rays of the sun could literally bake your retina to a burnt crisp version of its original self.

No matter what amount of time you look at the sun, be it 2-3 seconds, it is too much and may result in permanent damage to the eyes. What you need is eclipse glasses to prevent this damage from happening. A regular pair of Ray Ban shades won’t cut it.

Eclipse glasses are guaranteed by an international safety standard. They come at a reasonable cost and some libraries lend them for free as well. Most of them are made of cheap materials as cardboard.Solar filters are 100,000 times darker than standard sunglasses. The problem with sunglasses is that they don’t block out infrared rays. Do not be fooled and use fake sun protection glasses. They will not work out well in the final analysis.

If you want to watch the solar eclipse by a camera, telescope or binoculars, get a solar filter lens that you place at the end of it so as to protect your eyes. Binoculars are the best when it comes to viewing the solar eclipse. Make sure your solar filter is not cracked or scratched from anywhere on its surface. When children use these devices, they ought to have an adult caretaker with them. If you wear eyeglasses, continue to wear them despite the inconvenience of double devices before your eyes. Do not be in a hurry to remove the solar filter the moment you stop looking at the eclipse.

For those who have pets, they need not worry lest their pet pooch or pet moggie gets a case of sun blindness. Pets are actually smarter than us humans in such matters and do not look at the sun out of sheer curiosity. With the solar eclipse just ready to cause all of humanity to look to the skies, NASA has compiled a list of precautions as well. If you reside in an area where the eclipse is outside the path of totality, you must definitely use a solar filter. Michigan comes to mind. On August 21st, it will be the first time since the year 1979 when a total solar eclipse visits the skies over all of America.

The condition which there is a danger of and which has the doctors worried is called solar retinopathy. The retina is where the light sensitive cells are concentrated. While the damage is sure and final, the effects are barely noticable. They occur imperceptibly. When you look directly at the sun, the damage is immediate. So better to be safe than sorry is the watchword. There is no pain involved which makes the whole process of contracting solar retinopathy all the more insidious.

Not just by staring directly at the sun but also by merely taking momentary peeks at it, you may contract the disease. There have already been examples of people who were intoxicated with drugs or alcohol and who looked at the sun in their stupor. They ended up damaging their eyesight permanently.

The fact that this time it will be a solar eclipse will not make the process any the less damaging. Therefore precaution and prudence is of the essence. It is only in the path to totality where you may view the eclipse with the naked eye. Even here, solar filters are advised just to be on the safe side.

The time span spent viewing the solar eclipse is also very important. You must not exceed the set time alloted to the viewing. Finally, if the worst occurs and you notice signs of retina damage, visit your ophthalmologist for a full examination.

AAA also issued the following driving safety tips for driving during total solar eclipse 2017:

Turn on your headlights well before the eclipse to help you be more visible to drivers and improve your visibility.

Reduce speed so you’ll have more time to make an emergency maneuver.

Watch out for pedestrians! There may be people standing in or along roadways and streets watching the eclipse.

Be a defensive driver. Be especially aware of the possibility of nearby drivers swerving into your lane.

Do not attempt to watch the solar eclipse when driving. (Get to your viewing location well in advance of the eclipse)

Don’t depend only on cell phones for navigation. Cell towers could be bogged down and coverage could be spotty in some areas. Visit your local AAA location for maps (free to members).

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, first aid kit, water and any necessary medication, should you get stuck in traffic.

By following these simple tips and pointers, you may enjoy the skygazing which is due to occur on August 21st without any hassles getting in your way.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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