Solar Eclipse Safety

Today, August 21, 2017, all of Canada will experience a partial eclipse of the sun. The moon will gradually cover part of the sun’s disk for up to 3 hours, with maximum coverage ranging from 90% at Victoria, BC, 76% over Toronto, ON and 43% at St. John’s, NL.  Because the moon never fully covers the sun for Canadian eclipse watchers, they must use protective devices like eclipse glasses and viewers or projection devices to view the eclipse safely. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy watching the eclipse safely.

  1. Safety Focus: Ensure your eyes are protected at all times by using approved solar eclipse viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Make sure that the glasses are not damaged or scratched before use. Sunglasses, even those with a very dark tint are not sufficient protection.
  2. Don’t Get Burned! Staring at the sun without protection, may cause damage to your retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) called “solar retinopathy.” This damage can occur without any sensation of pain. The injury can be temporary or permanent. Visit your local doctor of optometry immediately if an accident occurs.
  3. Go Indirect – Project: If you can’t find eclipse viewers, make a pinhole projector to watch the eclipse. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the sun. Never look at the sun through the pinhole.
  4. Watch Online: NASA will be streaming the full eclipse live.
  5. Check It Out: If you experience any problems with your eyes or vision after the eclipse, see your optometrist promptly.

Here is a link that shows you how to safely watch a solar eclipse.