Eye safety a big concern during the solar eclipse

1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, July 26 2017 Jul 26, 2017 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 4:53:00 PM CDT July 26, 2017 in Eclipse Science
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Chief Meteorologist
loading

COLUMBIA - The views you will experience during the total solar eclipse might take your breath away, but in order to see the solar corona safely you must have proper eye protection. If you don’t wear approved solar eyewear, Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder, the Director of Ophthalmology at MU Health, said you could do serious damage to your eyes.

“The sun burns the very important layer of the retina called the macula," explained Fraunfelder. "Damaging the cones in your macula can permanently damage your vision by burning them with direct light from the sun."

Fraunfelder says eclipse glasses have a solar film that will block out many light waves regular sunglasses will not. “They will block out UVA, UVB, infrared light, and also intense visual light."

It’s important to block this light out so you can safely look directly into the sun for the partial eclipse before and after totality.

During totality, when the sun’s light is completely blocked out for up to 2:40 in mid-Missouri, you will need to take the glasses off in order to see the spectacle that is night during the day. You will see stars, a few planets and the solar corona, the sun's atmosphere. Read our Deep Dive into the eclipse for the answers to common questions about this event.

However, be sure you don’t take the glasses off too soon. If you do, you may miss out on totality altogether. Your eyes might not be able to adjust to the darkness if you catch a glimpse of the sun’s light prior to totality.

“We call that an after image,” says Fraunfelder, “and that is neural signals to your brain still firing after the lights already stimulated the rods and the cones and after images is a good way to explain you sorta see purple or red after you've stared into a bright light."

Be sure your glasses are approved and safe! NASA released a statement saying glasses are being passed around that do not meet adequate safety guidelines. Glasses must have "ISO 12312-2" printed on them. Only four companies have been approved as manufacturing safe solar eclipse glasses: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17. Check your glasses to be sure you're protected.

Using a magnifying system such as binoculars? You must have a solar filter on the front of the binoculars or telescope. If you look through non-filtered magnification of the Sun's light through solar glasses positioned over your eyes there will be considerable damage to your eyes. Again, the sun's light and energy is being magnified and solar glasses are not made to withstand that.

You can read more about safe solar eclipse viewing on NASA’s website.

Pick up your free KOMU 8 Show Me Eclipse glasses at Dollar General Stores in Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton and Mexico while supplies last. The Mizzou Store is also selling eclipse glasses for $1.50 with some proceeds going back to the Astronomy Department.

If you’re wondering what the night sky may look like in the early afternoon on August 21st during totality, you can see the image above.

You can read all our Show Me Eclipse coverage, continuously updating with new content, at KOMU.com/eclipse.

More News

Grid
List
Missouri State Representative Rebecca Roeber was taken to the hospital with serious injuries Monday after a Morgan County car crash.... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 10:09:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Monday marked the first day Missourians could apply for Real IDs -- federally compliant IDs. Missouri... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 8:00:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle High School students are taking a new math class, and it doesn't involve just sitting in a... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 7:33:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri filed an appeals brief with the NCAA appeals committee. In the brief, Mizzou... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 6:12:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The federal government's ban on bump stocks goes into effect Tuesday, making Monday the last day to legally... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 5:31:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Election candidates met Monday for another round of public talks, this time focusing on policies, accessibility and accommodations... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 4:22:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- State representatives gathered Monday to announce the introduction of the Missouri First Step Act later this week. ... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Four more people have joined the list of people suing MU Health Care doctors and the Curators of... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 2:35:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Sheriff's Office said they seized $20,000 in illegal steroids during a traffic stop Sunday... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire at a business in Jefferson City. Firefighters went to... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 12:17:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Revenue is now offering licenses and identifications that comply with stricter... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 10:52:00 AM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
IOWA CITY - In the Regional Finals of the Women's NCAA Tournament, the Mizzou Tigers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes... More >>
1 day ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 12:22:10 AM CDT March 25, 2019 in Sports
MOBERLY - A woman was arrested in Moberly Saturday evening for driving while intoxicated with two children in the car,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 12:02:00 AM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri forward Jontay Porter re-tore his ACL Saturday while rehabbing in Colorado, Mizzou Athletics confirmed to KOMU. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:21:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in Sports
(CNN) -- A triumphant President Donald Trump emerged Sunday to claim "complete and total exoneration" after special counsel... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 9:02:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Law enforcement agencies are turning to social media to connect with the people they serve. Police departments, sheriff's... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 6:43:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY - A body was recovered from the Missouri River Sunday afternoon. The Saline County Sheriff's Office said... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 4:50:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here's how to get help : In the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 3:35:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
5am 37°
6am 36°
7am 35°
8am 34°