Home News Looking at a solar eclipse can be dangerous without eclipse glasses. Here’s...

Looking at a solar eclipse can be dangerous without eclipse glasses. Here’s what to know


Millions of people along a narrow band in North America will look up when the sky darkens during a total solar eclipse on Monday. When they do, safety is key.

Staring directly at the sun during a solar eclipse or at any other time can lead to permanent eye damage. The eclipse is only safe to witness with the naked eye during totality, or the period of total darkness when the moon completely covers the sun.

Those eager to experience the eclipse should buy eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor. Sunglasses are not protective enough, and binoculars and telescopes without a proper solar filter can magnify light from the sun, making them unsafe.

“Please, please put those glasses on,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

Where to find eclipse glasses

Since counterfeit glasses abound, consider purchasing glasses from a local science museum or order online from a seller cleared on the American Astronomical Society’s website.

Eclipse safety experts say legitimate eclipse glasses should block out ultraviolet light from the sun and nearly all visible light. When worn indoors, only very bright lights should be faintly visible – not household furniture or wallpaper.

Old eclipse glasses from the 2017 total solar eclipse or October’s “ring of fire” annular eclipse are safe to reuse, as long as they aren’t warped and don’t have scratches or holes.

Glasses should say they comply with ISO 12312-2 standards, though fake suppliers can also print this language on their products. NASA does not approve or certify eclipse glasses.

FILE - This combination of photos shows the path of the sun during a total eclipse by the moon Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore. On April 8, 2024, spectators who aren't near the path of totality or who get cloudy weather on eclipse day can still catch the total solar eclipse, with NASA, science centers and media organizations planning to stream live coverage online from different locations along the path. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

This combination of photos shows the path of the sun during a total eclipse by the moon on Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

How to view the eclipse without glasses

If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can still enjoy the spectacle through indirect ways such as making a pinhole projector using household materials.

Poke a hole through a piece of cardstock or cardboard, hold it up during the eclipse and look down to see a partial crescent projected below. Holding up a colander or a cracker will produce a similar effect.



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