Safe Solar Viewing


If you look directly at the sun, even during a partial solar eclipse like we will have in Louisiana, you are risking damage to the retina of your eye or even blindness. Since your eyes have no pain nerves, you won’t even know the damage is being done.

Wearing ordinary sunglasses or polaroid glasses will not protect your eyes. 

If you try to point the camera on your phone or tablet at the sun to film the eclipse, you will probably permanently damage your camera.  The same goes for a digital camera.

Some people recommend wearing special solar glasses, but you have to buy them.  They are hard to use if you have to also wear regular glasses.  Also, if you wear the filtered glasses and try to look through an unfiltered binocular or telescope while wearing them, the focused sunlight will break your filtered glasses and then blind you.

NASA’s Advice on Viewing the Eclipse Safely

American Astronomical Society’s List of Vendors of Solar Glasses

There is a very simple, inexpensive, and safe way to view the eclipse.   You make what is called a “pinhole camera” or “camera obscura.”   It also has the advantage that the image of the sun can be enlarged, so you can see the eclipse more easily.   Here are examples.

How about a mosaic of solar crescents during the eclipse?   Sunlight filtering through the leaves of a tree makes dozens of pinhole cameras!  

How big should you make the pinhole?  Read here.