AAS solar eclipse safety tips

AAS solar eclipse safety tips

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(WBNG) -- The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has revised some of its safety advice for the public related to the August 21 solar eclipse.

The eclipse can be dangerous to watch. Experts suggest getting a pair of glasses that have a special film. They will reduce the amount of light coming through and will make it safer to view. The glasses can be purchased at Lowes in Norwich. Lowes in Vestal and the Town of Chenango have sold out. Those who pay admission for the solar eclipse viewing event at Kopernik Observatory will be provided glasses.

How can you tell if your "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers are safe? The organization released the following instructions for the safe use of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers:

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer - the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • If you are inside the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun's bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the Sun directly.

For more information from the American Astronomical Society, click here.

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