Solar eclipse: Eye health warning

A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun, completely or partially blocking Earth’s view of it. A new moon and such an alignment show that the moon is closest to the plane of the Earth’s orbit. A total eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun’s disc. Only a portion of the sun is blocked out during partial and annular eclipses. An eclipse of the sun is harmful to eye health. Every new moon would experience a total solar eclipse if the moon were in a perfectly circular orbit and shared an orbital plane with Earth. As a result of the moon’s orbital tilt, which is approximately 5 degrees, Earth typically misses the moon’s shadow.

Therefore, solar (and lunar) eclipses only occur during eclipse seasons, resulting in at least two and as many as five solar eclipses every year, with a maximum of two total eclipses. Total eclipses are less frequent because they require a closer alignment of the Sun and the Moon’s centers and because the Moon’s apparent size in the sky is occasionally insufficient to completely block the Sun. and At a specific location on Earth, total solar eclipses only happen infrequently—on average, every 360 to 410 years.

Next Solar Eclipse

October 14, 2023: According to NASA, an annular solar eclipse will cross Central and South America. It will be visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America. In the U.S., the annular solar eclipse begins in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PDT and ends in Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT.

April 08, 2024: According to NASA,  total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.

What are the eye symptoms that can occur from looking at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection?

  • Loss of central vision (solar retinopathy)
  • Distorted vision
  • Altered color vision

If you notice symptoms after viewing a solar eclipse, seek treatment from an eye care professional.

How to safely watch a solar eclipse

Only during a total eclipse can you see a solar eclipse safely without any additional gear. and at this point, the sun is entirely obscured by the moon. Without the right tools or skills, seeing a partial solar eclipse is never safe. It is safe to look at the sun during the very brief total solar eclipse, but proceed with caution. Even during the total eclipse, which may only last a brief time, if you are staring towards the sun as the moon is moving away from obstructing it, you could suffer a solar burn on your retina, which could result in long-term eye damage. Talk with your eye care professional to determine the best viewing option for you. Below are a few common ways to safely watch a solar eclipse:

Pinhole projection:

This is the most affordable and secure way to view a solar eclipse. By employing a projected image, you may avoid looking directly at the eclipse. Making a pinhole in a piece of cardboard with the sun on one side and projecting the picture onto a sheet of paper three feet away from any obstructions is required for this do-it-yourself project. Remember not to look at the sun through the pinhole.

Pinhole Projection

Welder’s glass:

You may find number 14 welder’s glass at a nearby welding supply shop, and it offers reliable protection. The damaging rays produced during the eclipse will be lessened by this glass. If the glass has any scratches or other damage, do not use.

Mylar filters:

Mylar sheets that have been aluminum-coated are available as eclipse glasses or can be sliced to create a viewing box. If the sheet has any scratches or other damage, do not use.

How not to watch an eclipse

Be careful about how you watch a solar eclipse. It is not recommended to view it in the following ways:


When trying to line up your camera to capture an eclipse, you run the danger of unintentionally capturing the sun. Additionally, it can harm the camera on your smartphone. Avoid taking a chance.

Camera viewfinder:

Never look at a eclipse through the optical viewfinder of a camera. It can damage your eyes in the same way as looking directly at it.

Unsafe filters:

No filter is secure to use with any optical apparatus unless it is made expressly for viewing eclipses (telescopes, binoculars, etc). To see an eclipse safely, avoid using any colour film, non-silver black-and-white film, photographic negatives with images on them (such as x-rays and photos), smoked glass, sunglasses (either single or multiple pairs), photographic neutral density filters, and polarising filters. Additionally, the sun filters used with low-cost telescopes’ eyepieces are dangerous. These things can all raise your chance of causing eye damage.

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