Dangers of the Solar Eclipse

Nick Rippo, Writer

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On August 21st, America watched in awe of the cosmic beauty of the 2017 solar eclipse. This was the first eclipse in years to encompass America and only America from coast to coast. For many the solar eclipse is a chance to get a sense of scope of the universe and our place, however miniscule in it. However, with the eclipse there are dangers. There are always people who are ignorant of the safety precautions needed to view the eclipse without doing substantial damage to your eyesight. Every time there is an eclipse, hospitals in those areas end up with dozens of people coming in due to damage relating to the solar phenomenon. This has left people with the false pretence that when there is an eclipse, the sun’s rays somehow become stronger and more concentrated. This notion is completely false however and makes no logical sense, it’s kind of like saying that putting a ping pong ball in front of a flashlight is somehow going to make it work better. The reason why this happens is because during the solar eclipse many people will force themselves to endure the pain of looking at the sun because they want to see the eclipse. When there is no eclipse, they have no reason to subject themselves to the discomfort caused by just looking in the sun’s general direction using only the naked eye.

It is important to make sure everyone knows the safety precautions to take when viewing the eclipse. Even if you get the proper glasses, they may be counterfeit. Make sure that the glasses say that they are ISO certified on part of them, however there have been reports of unapproved glasses being marked as if they are. If you don’t know where your glasses came from the smart thing to do is to get a pair from your local library, or look up the whitelist on the official NASA website as there have been libraries that recalled the glasses. You can also use a welder’s mask to watch the eclipse. Before doing this though, you must make sure that the welding glass is shade 12 or higher. The safest method of all is through a pinhole projector. There are plenty of guides on the internet that show safe easy ways to make pinhole projectors from household items. This works because a pinhole is very much like the lens of an eye and can easily project the light of the sun in a very safe way.

You should never try to come up with your own means of protection against the sun, this will almost definitely land you in the hospital. Shortly after the 2017 solar eclipse, reports came in of people complaining about irritation of the eyes after they had rubbed sunscreen in their eyes to try to protect themselves from ocular damage while watching the eclipse. There is never a time that you should ever look at the sun without NASA approved protection unless the solar eclipse is in its complete and utter totality. In fact, there is no reason why you should wear protection at this time because if you do you will miss the best part of the eclipse. The Corona. This is the sun’s atmosphere and is invisible at all other times. However, if you look at the sun for over 10 ┬áseconds at any other time, the intense heat will burn through your retina giving you a permanent blind spot that will haunt you for the rest of your life by reminding you of your horrible lack of common sense.