Eye Safety when Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse
In an event 38 years in the making, the U.S. will be treated to an eclipse of the sun on Monday, August 21. And this will be the first to traverse coast to coast in nearly a century! This rare eclipse occurs when the new moon passes between the sun and the earth.
It’s very important for you to take measures to view the eclipse safely. Throughout the eclipse, you MUST use filters when looking directly at the sun.
At UAMS, our experts in the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute provide the following information and tips:
Arkansas is in the 80-97% partial eclipse region
- Starts at 11:47 a.m.
- Ends at 2:46 p.m.
- Max eclipse at 1:18 p.m. in the Little Rock area
For direct viewing:
- Use ISO 12312-2 filters, which are commonly known as eclipse glasses
- Or use welder’s filters with shade numbers 12-14
- Never use telescopes or binoculars while using filters!
For indirect viewing:
- Binoculars or a telescope aimed at the sun to project an image on a surface
- Small mirrors that can reflect an image onto a surface
DO NOT USE:
- “Black” developed color film
- Photographic neutral density filters
- Polarizing filters
- Smoked glass
- Space blankets
- Post-mydriatic filters (glasses that you get after getting your eyes dilated)
- Mylar balloons or food wrappers
Damage to the eye caused by looking directly at the sun with no protection or improper protection can be temporary or permanent
- Vision loss is painless
- Vision loss can be instantaneous or could take a few hours before onset