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Solar Eclipse Safety: What you need to know

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On August 21 the continental United States will be able to view its first total solar eclipse in 99 years! The majority of Floridians will experience roughly 85% total coverage, and will begin experiencing the eclipse around 1:20PM.

Click here to search when the eclipse will occur in your area.

WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. During this cosmic accident, the moon either fully or partially blocks out the light from the sun, causing darkness and a rapid drop in temperatures.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

The only time to safely view an eclipse with the naked eye is during the “totality,” which is when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. Since the majority of the nation won’t experience totality, eclipse watchers need eye protection.

Even the smallest sliver of sunlight can cause damage to the back of the eye. If exposed to the bright light, you risk permanent damage such as blurred vision. Unfortunately, you may not realize the damage has been done since light-sensitive particles continue to work hours after the injury.

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SOLAR ECLIPSE GLASSES

Solar eclipse glasses use special-purpose solar filters making it safe to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. Here are some reminders when using solar eclipse glasses:

  • Check if they are compliant with the ISO 12312-2.
  • Inspect them for damage.
  • Supervise little ones.
  • Put on your glasses before looking up at the sun and look away when removing them.
  • Don’t look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. The concentration of solar rays will damage the filter on the eclipse glasses, leaving you vulnerable to eye injury.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, put the solar eclipse glasses on over them.

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