How to view next week's South American eclipse safely

Rays from the sun are strong enough to cause permanent damage or even blindness to the eyes.


NSFW    SOUTH AMERICA — Ahead of next week's total eclipse across South America, astronomers from the American Astronomical Society are warning the public that staring directly at an eclipse can cause permanent damage to the eyes.

The American Astronomical Society's website says eclipse glasses or handheld solar filters that compliant with ISO 12312-2 international safety standards must be used when looking at a partially eclipsed sun.

This is because the concentrated solar rays from the sun are strong enough to cause significant damage to the retina and could even lead to blindness.

Unfiltered cameras, telescopes or regular sunglasses must be not be used when viewing an eclipse. Old solar filters must be discarded if they are scratched, punctured, torn or damaged in any way.

The solar filter can only be removed when the moon has completely covered the sun in a total eclipse.

Alternate viewing methods include viewing the eclipse via a pinhole projection. This is when you cut a pinhole onto a piece of paper or cardboard and use it to project light onto another piece of paper to view the eclipse.
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