Eyes to Skies - Safely

August 01, 2017

Sky-gazers across the country will watch in awe as the moon silently covers the sun Monday, August 21, 2017. If you’re planning to watch, do so safely with the right eclipse glasses that actually protect your eyes or hand-held solar viewers.

The Real Deal

Start by making sure that the glasses or viewers you’re considering have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product, and are certified as safe. The certification means the glasses and solar viewers meet international safety standard ISO 12312-2 and are safe for your eyes. According to the American Astronomical Society, to date, only five manufacturers meet the standard for this certification:

  • American Paper Optics

  • Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)

  • Rainbow Symphony

  • Thousand Oaks Optical

  • TSE 17

Safety First!

  • Be sure your glasses or viewers are new:

    • glasses that are more than 3 years old, or are wrinkled or scratched, won’t protect your eyes.

  • Read – and follow – the instructions carefully.

  • Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses don’t offer the same protection.

  • Never look directly at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers that are certified as safe. (Again, look for ISO 12312-2 to be printed on the product.) Looking directly at a solar eclipse can lead to serious injury.

  • Don’t look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices – even using your eclipse glasses or viewer. Those optical devices concentrate the solar rays, will damage your eclipse glasses or viewer, and seriously injure your eyes.

Visit NASA’s Eclipse 101 for even more information on the eclipse.