How to watch the Solar Eclipse and Protect your Eyes?
On the 1st September 2016 between 12h27 to 15h44, an annular solar eclipse will be visible in Mauritius and Rodrigues. We would all want to see that but you should bear in mind that looking at the eclipse without any eye protection can literally fry your eyes. We will give you tips on how you can see the eclipse without damaging your eyes but also feel free to contact Gaya Opticians to get more advices.
What is an annular solar eclipse?
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon appears smaller than the Sun as it passes centrally across the solar disk and a bright ring, or annulus, of sunlight remains visible during the eclipse.
What happens to your eyes when you view the annular eclipse without any protection?
Well, viewing the annular solar eclipse is as dangerous as viewing the sun with bare eyes. While it may be tempting to brush off warnings against looking up at this eclipse bare-eyed, don’t as the light of an eclipse really can damage your eyes.
The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they’re over-stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don’t realize what they’re doing to their vision.
How to safely watch the annular solar eclipse?
We are pretty sure you are excited as us to experience this eclipse. For some, it might be their first time. However, it is essential to view the eclipse properly. Here are a few tips.
Projection works well. Projecting the Sun through a box projector, or using binoculars or telescope or simply two pieces of card is a safe and easy way to view a solar eclipse. Watch the video and make your own pin hole projector.
If you are not the D.I.Y. type, check in at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Center or the Mauritius Astronomical Society to rent or buy eclipse glasses.
NASA recommends welder’s glasses rated 14 or higher. These can be found at your local welding supply store.
Aluminized Mylar Sheeting
Mylar can be easily cut with scissors but make sure that the sheets you use are aluminized and that you take the advice of experts while using it.
You can use special solar filters to watch the Sun during a solar eclipse, but use the proper type of solar filter that is designed for eclipses. Check that filters do not crack under the Sun’s magnified and focused intensity. Solar filters must be treated with care or they can quickly become damaged and unsafe to use.
The do not’s during Solar Eclipse that will damage your eyes
According to NASA, the following materials should never be used to view a solar eclipse:
- Do not use colour film
- Do not use binoculars
- Do not look through the telescope’s eyepiece or side-mounted finder scope
- Do not use medical X-ray film with images on them
- Do not use smoked glass
- Do not use any kind of sunglasses
- Do not use CDs or computer floppy disks
- Do not use your camera or phone’s camera
Gaya Opticians advises you not to take a selfie as you may end up accidentally looking directly at the Sun while aligning yourself and your phone.
So, do not play with the health of your eyes. Get the right protection to experience the annular solar eclipse this 1st September 2016. Also, feel free to contact Gaya Opticians for more advices.