How to view a solar eclipse
It may seem like common sense, but never look directly at the sun! Even during a solar eclipse, just part of the sun can cause burning and blindness – permanently – to your eyes. Yes, we do have built in protectors in our brain to make us look away from the sun, but if most of the sun is blocked then it may be dim enough that you can force yourself to keep looking at it. But it isn’t safe!
If you happen to be in the path of totality, so that the solar eclipse 2017 is actually a total solar eclipse, then during the minute or two of totality you may look directly at the sun – because actually you’re looking at the moon with a bit of the sun’s halo around it. As soon as the sun starts appearing again, you should look away.
The best way to view a solar eclipse is with special eclipse glasses. You can buy them on Amazon or locally. Many astronomy clubs are selling them, and some ‘viewing areas’ like festival grounds and RV campgrounds also have them for sale.
- look directly at the sun
- look directly at the sun with sunglasses
- look directly at the sun through a telescope or binoculars
If you want to look directly at the sun, you need special eclipse glasses or eclipse filters for your camera and telescopes. Make sure they are ISO certified – this is the only safe way to view a solar eclipse directly with your eyes.
If you don’t have glasses, you can make a pin-hole camera to view the solar eclipse. Simply take 2 sheets of paper. Poke a hole in one, and hold it above the other. Move the hole so that the sun shines through the hole onto the other sheet of paper. The image that projects onto the second sheet of paper will show you safely the shape of the sun during the eclipse.