Safely View a Solar Eclipse
A total solar eclipse visible in the United States is rare – and precious, just like your vision. When the moon crosses in front of the sun skies will darken, stars will twinkle and millions of Americans will be treated to an astronomical show.
The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. These special filters are used in eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers. Eclipse glasses are available for purchase at big-box stores, electronics supply outlets and online. Look for glasses that carry this certification insignia: ISO 12312-2.
"The concern over improper viewing of the sun during an eclipse is for the development of 'eclipse blindness' or retinal burns," said associate professor of optometry Dr. Ralph Chou in an article published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Chou said children and young adults are most at risk as bright light and radiation from the sun can cause heating and cook the exposed tissue of the eye. The aging process can provide a natural filtering effect in older people and reduce risk of retinal damage.
In Eclipse 101, NASA outlines do's and don'ts of viewing the eclipse:
The range is from two to seven eclipses each year, according to EarthSky.