Eye Safety for the Solar Eclipse

By Mark Manocha, M.D.

During August 21st’s solar eclipse, it is important to take the proper ocular safety precautions. Looking directly at the sun is never a good idea, so there are a few ways to view it and minimize risk. Savannah will only experience a partial solar eclipse (around 90%), but you can look online to see where totality occurs.

  • At no point in Savannah will it be safe to look directly at the sun because it will never be fully covered. Even when the sun is partially covered, it is just as bright, and is equally unsafe.
  • Put on your glasses immediately after the sun emerges as looking at it directly, however brief, can cause long-term retinal damage.
  • Make sure to look away from the sun before putting on and removing your protective glasses; rapid adjustment to light can also cause severe eye damage.
  • You can purchase specially certified glasses (ISO 12312-2) for viewing, which you can find online or in certain stores.
  • Regular sunglasses, cameras, binoculars, and telescopes are not safe for viewing the eclipse.
  • Alternatively, you can use the pinhole method to project an image of the eclipse on another material. You can do this by poking a hole in a piece of cardboard, and putting a piece of paper behind it, changing the distance until the image is projected clearly onto it.

The solar eclipse is one of the greatest events nature can offer, and it happens rarely in United States. Don’t let this opportunity to witness history pass you by, but make sure to be safe and protect your eyes while viewing this grand spectacle.