On August 21st of this year, a total solar eclipse is coming to the United States. Anyone in the continental US will be able to see a partial eclipse, which means that Dallas, Texas, residents have the chance to experience a mind-blowing natural phenomenon. But staring directly at an eclipse with the naked eye is very dangerous to your retinas. Prepare for the eclipse by getting the right eye protection that will allow you to observe this eclipse without damaging your eyes.
GET ECLIPSE GLASSES
Eclipse glasses are special glasses with lenses that are hundreds of times darker than sunglasses. They're rated to filter enough dangerous light out of the sun to protect the human eye during prolonged solar eclipse viewing. They are, in fact, so dark that the sun is the only thing you'll be able to see while looking through them!
NASA wants you to know your eclipse glasses need to be certified ISO 12312-2. This is the international standard for eye protection. Don't use glasses older than three years, because they will not meet this standard. Even if they were up to standard at one point, they no longer are. You also should not use scratched or broken glasses. When you purchase glasses, the manufacturer's name and address must be on the product.
USE A SOLAR FILTER
Experts want to make something clear: You can't use eclipse glasses as a substitute for a solar filter on your camera or telescope. The magnification in the lenses changes how the light hits your eyes. If you want to photograph the eclipse, a solar filter is the only way to safely do that. The filter protects both your eyes and the expensive equipment you're using.
When you want to see details of the solar eclipse, a solar filter on binoculars or a telescope will protect your eyes and give you amazing views of the sun's corona. Make sure the filter is attached to the front of your instrument. Otherwise, it cannot protect everything inside the instrument from focused rays of the sun, which might mess with the optics. When choosing a filter, you'll find different price ranges, and some of them tint the sun blue or orange. Choose what's best for your budget and your viewing purposes.
MAKE A PINHOLE CAMERA
Image via Flickr by theppitak
You know never to stare at the sun because you do not want to risk retina damage . If you can't get hold of eclipse glasses or a solar filter, or simply don't wish to observe the eclipse directly, you have another option. A pinhole camera is a fun project you can do at home, through which you can indirectly watch the eclipse. You'll get an inverted shadowed image of the eclipse that's safe to watch from your backyard.
If you have any questions about safely viewing the eclipse, you can always ask at your next appointment at The Eye Doctor’s Office in Dallas . If, during the eclipse, you think you looked at the sun too long without protection, call for medical help immediately so you can get the right kind of retina and cornea treatment.