Safety Eye Tips when viewing the Eclipse
Our team of eye doctors and eye care staff want you to enjoy this comic cosmic event safely. See our safety tips below!
On August 21, a solar eclipse will present itself across the nation with millions of people being able to view a solar eclipse. Many parts of the USA will experience a total eclipse, while Canada will experience a partial solar eclipse. A total eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the earth and the sun in direct alignment, casting a shadow and leaving the sun completely blocked and a period of darkness for a few minutes. A partial eclipse will have the moon only partially blocking the sun, leaving parts of the sun exposed. It will almost look like the moon has taken a bite out of the sun. In Toronto, it is expected that the sun will be 70% blocked out with the eclipse beginning at 1:10 and showing the maximum coverage at 2:33 pm.
A solar eclipse is a spectacular and rare event to enjoy, but it must be done safely. Be sure to know how to protect your eyes if you plan to partake in any eclipse viewings.
Most of us are aware that looking at the sun under normal circumstances is unsafe. In fact, it is often too difficult to look at the sun long enough to cause damage because of our natural aversion reflex. However, with a partial solar eclipse, the danger occurs when the temptation interferes with common sense and this natural protective reflex. It can be viewed without the same level of discomfort. Unfortunately, even when the sun is almost fully covered, a small crescent remaining is still bright enough that it can burn your retinas; a condition called solar retinopathy. There is no pain receptors in the retina, so the intense solar radiation can cause damage with no pain and you risk long-term vision loss.
Keep in mind that regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes if viewing the eclipse. Special eclipse glasses that meet the ISO international stands must be used. These special purpose filters are about 100,000 times darker than regular sunglasses.
Happy solar viewing. Keep in mind eye safety when enjoying this rare event.
More information about locations and timing of the eclipse can be seen from this CBC webpage: