Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Solar Eclipse: Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses

Solar Eclipse: Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses

I know I don't reach out to you unless I want something (we both know I was a bit needy during that weeklong rain spell this past Spring, and sure, I'm all-out terrible during pretty much every Chicago Winter), but hear me out on this one.

I hope that doesn't happen to the planet during the solar eclipse on august 21 as people from around the world flock to the "path of totality" ― a narrow band that runs from OR to SC ― to get the best view of the full eclipse. Scientists say that the Moon will cover the Sun for 1.5 hours, and the solar corona will be several times more than during previous eclipses.

But as demand for these glasses has skyrocketed, scams have entered the market.

But he said it's still worth viewing, as long as you're viewing it with a safe solar filter.

Here's the deal: Glasses that are safe for directly viewing the sun must meet the standard, set by the International Organization for Standardization, and the glasses or viewer will then indicate that they are ISO 12312-2 compliant.

Some vendors are even going so far as to put falsified test results on their websites to support their bogus claims, AAS said.

Retail chains listed include 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Kroger, Lowe's, and Walmart, among others.

Millions of Americans are getting ready to view the eclipse on August 21st. If you glance at the sun through your glasses, for example, and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus and surrounded by a murky haze, they're no good. Whether you live in or near the path of totality, thousands of events celebrating the rare occurrence will be taking place across the United States.

Ordinary sunglasses are not up to snuff. "Eclipse glasses" are available online or by welding goggles with shade number 12 or 14 filters.

Finally, if you are interested in watching the solar eclipse from anywhere, there are some things you need to know.

People in OR and points southeast on the totality path, where the full eclipse will be visible, will be able to watch it safely without protective glasses after the last bit of the sun's photosphere has disappeared behind the moon.

Sadly, Massachusetts doesn't fall within that path - it runs from OR to SC - which means only a partial eclipse will be visible for those in the Bay State.

"A solar eclipse should never be watched the same way we should not stare at the sun", said Alberto Ortiz, an ophthalmologist with Mittleman Eye in West Palm Beach.

Totality will first hit OR around 10.15am Pacific time.

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