How to Safely Watch The Solar Eclipse on August 21
In case you somehow missed it, there will be a solar eclipse that will be visible on Monday, August 21st around 11:30 a.m. in Bozeman.
Lunar And Solar Eclipses
What’s the difference? A lunar eclipse happens when the earth passes between the sun and the moon and blacks out the moon. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and earth and blocks out the sun.
Both only take a few minutes from beginning to end.
The Danger To Your Eyes
There’s virtually no danger watching a lunar eclipse because the earth blocks out the sun and you’re looking at the moon not the sun.
However, there is great danger in looking at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection.
Amazon just did a major recall of counterfeit glasses that were supposed to be safe eye protection but in fact were not.
I hope most of us are intelligent enough to know you don’t look directly at the sun. Your eye works somewhat like the magnifying glass you used as a kids to set leaves on fire.
Looking directly into the sun can burn your retina causing blindness. It’s called “solar retinopathy.”
How to Safely View The Solar Eclipse
The safest way is to build a pinhole eclipse projection box. This will project the eclipse on the inside of a box safe from the harmful sunlight.
Recommended for kids under six since it’s often hard to find protective eye wear that will fit properly.
I mentioned earlier that Amazon recalled glasses that did not meet safety standards for viewing a solar eclipse.
You might be thinking welder glasses. Don’t — not good for solar eclipses. Zero vision protection.
Eclipse glasses are more than just sunglasses on steroids. They are specially made filters for the type of light that will damage your eyes.
There are many reputable companies that manufacture quality protective eye wear suitable for viewing a solar eclipse safely.
There are also safety lenses available for binoculars and cameras. Here is a link to some reputable companies.
Some Final Thoughts
If for some reason you’ll miss this event, maybe because of weather or other conflicts, you’ll get another chance in April of 2024.
Hey, that’s only seven short years away.
The next one will take off in Texas and end up in Maine.
The main thing to take away from this blog is safety. Please, please, please make sure you have the right protective eye wear.
Enjoy the show but make sure you can view the next one too.