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Information - FAQ

A Guide to Optical Safety During a Solar Eclipse

As we gear up for the solar eclipse, it's crucial to prioritize safety during this awe-inspiring event. 

With these optical safety tips, you can enjoy the magic of the cosmos without compromising the well-being of your eyes:

Eclipse Glasses:

Photo of a group of people wearing eclipse glasses look toward the sky

  • Invest in certified solar viewing glasses to directly observe the eclipse.
  • Look for the ISO certification label on the glasses to confirm that the glasses are safe for solar viewing. You need to know that they meet the ISO 12312-2 (sometimes written as ISO 12312-2:2015) international safety standard.Check the glasses for any scratches, defects or signs of damage.

"Price is also key. 'If you are seeing a really low price it’s probably not authentic,' ... the typical retail price on solar eclipse glasses and viewers is approximately $5. 'If you’re paying more than that it’s probably extortionate and if you're paying much less than that it’s probably a different product,'

Just prior to the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. on August 21, 2017, controversy erupted around counterfeit eclipse glasses with Amazon banning all sales. Many were being imported from China that were labeled as ISO-compliant without being properly tested."

Our Selection of ISO Certified Eclipse Glasses

DIY Pinhole Projectors:

  • Create a pinhole projector using simple materials like cardboard and aluminum foil.
  • Safely project the solar image onto a surface, avoiding direct eye exposure to the sun.

Welder's Glass:

  • Opt for a welder's glass with a minimum shade of 14 for direct solar viewing.
  • Ensure the glass is free from cracks or damage that could compromise safety.

Solar Viewers for Telescopes and Binoculars:

  • Use solar filters specifically designed for telescopes and binoculars.
  • Double-check filter condition to prevent any wear or tear that might compromise safety.

Beware of Unsafe Methods:

  • Avoid makeshift filters like CDs, DVDs, or smoked glass, as they don't provide adequate protection.
  • Never use regular sunglasses, even if they're labeled as UV-resistant – they do not offer sufficient protection for solar viewing.
  • Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury. 

Monitor Children and Pets:

  • Supervise children and ensure they understand the importance of using proper eye protection.
  • Keep pets indoors or under supervision, as they may be curious about the unusual lighting during an eclipse.

Take Breaks from Direct Viewing:

  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away to prevent eye strain.

 Be Mindful of Partial Phases:

  • Remember that optical safety is crucial during all phases of a solar eclipse, not just totality.
  • Use protective measures even when the sun is partially obscured.

Stay Informed:

  • Check for updates on eclipse safety guidelines from reliable sources.
  • Be aware of any specific recommendations for the particular eclipse you're witnessing.

Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection.

So, gear up, stay safe, and get ready for a stellar show in the sky!