Wilkes University


Practice Solar Eclipse Safety

A solar eclipse will occur on Aug. 21, 2017. For about two or three hours, most of north America will be able to view a partial eclipse.  In Wilkes-Barre, the event will begin at approximately 1:18 p.m.  and end at 3:57 p.m., with the maximum eclipse visible at 2:41 p.m.

Looking directly into the sun during the eclipse is not safe. The concentrated rays can cause serious damage to the eyes, known a retinal burns or “solar retinopathy.”

How to Watch the Eclipse Safely

According to NASA:

“The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun. Eclipse viewers should meet ISO 12312-2 international standard.”

NASA offers these safety tips for the 2017 Solar Eclipse:

  • Do not look directly at the sun.
  • Solar filters, or eclipse glasses, provide the only safe way to look directly at a partial or total eclipse. Make sure they meet the ISO 12312-2 standard.
  • Make sure the solar viewer or glasses include the manufacturer’s name and address.
  • Do not use solar glasses that are older than three years or have scratched lenses
  • Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses.
  • Do not look at an eclipse through an unfiltered camera viewfinder, telescope, binoculars or other optical device even with a solar filter. Those items magnify sunrays and can quickly damage the retina.
  • Always supervise children who use solar filters.

More from NASA:

  • Make sure to check the “eclipse glasses” or solar viewer before you use them
  • Cover your eyes with the viewing device before looking up at the sun
  • Look away from the sun before taking off the viewing device
  • DO NOT USE a camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device even when using eclipse glasses or solar viewer
  • Sunglasses are not appropriate viewing devices

If driving during the eclipse:

  • Watch out for other drivers trying to watch the eclipse
  • Keep your headlights on
  • Keep your visor down so you’re not tempted to look at the sun
  • Don’t take pictures or video while driving.

Additional information is available from NASA at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.