Complete photo voltaic eclipse 2017: The 5 greatest methods to observe

If you happen to hadn’t heard, there is a main eclipse taking place quickly. The US hasn’t had a complete photo voltaic eclipse seen from coast to coast (Pacific to Atlantic) since 1918 — so we figured we would provide you with some retina-safe choices for viewing the eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017.

And to be clear, security is paramount. Repeat after me:

  • Do not have a look at any section of the eclipse together with your bare eye.
  • Be aware that typical sun shades will not defend your eyes.
  • The low-cost, unsafe eclipse viewers being offered will not defend your eyes, both.

We pulled these factors from NASA’s security tricks to stop eye harm throughout an eclipse, and it is best to learn all these ideas.

Relating to shopping for eclipse glasses, caveat emptor applies — your imaginative and prescient is on the road, it is actually necessary to know you are getting viewers with correct safety.

To that finish, we have used these NASA tips to create our suggestions for eclipse-viewing gear. An important rule of thumb whilst you store is there are particular trusted producers and distributors who promote licensed glasses/viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide commonplace (that is what you will have to be protected against the solar as you stare at it). The American Astronomical Society has a wonderful rundown of producers, distributors and retail chains the place you will get solar-filter tools, and that is additional knowledgeable our record.

American Paper Optical makes low-cost, secure paper glasses anybody can use to look immediately at a photo voltaic eclipse. 

American Paper Optical

Low cost and straightforward: Paper glasses ($1 and up)

We have seen ’em earlier than — they’re these paper frames that appear like old-school 3D glasses, however as a substitute of the previous cyan/pink combo, they’re fitted with photo voltaic viewing materials. You should purchase these in packs for round a buck a pair, making them an important possibility for households, academics or organizations hoping to supply bigger portions on a budget. Once more, ensure you’re getting one made by or authorised by the AAS record of producers.

Bought a pair laying round you intend to reuse? In the event that they’re crinkled, cracked, or greater than three years previous, trash ’em. They’re harmful and should not present sufficient safety.

Sturdier however nonetheless cheap: Plastic glasses / cardboard viewers ($10-$20)

We have seen barely sturdier choices, like plastic frames that appear like sun shades, and folding cardboard viewers. This can be a nice possibility if you would like your glasses to final a bit longer, however once more, ensure you’re shopping for from an organization that sources its materials from the AAS record (for instance: Celestron’s viewers usually use photo voltaic viewing materials from American Paper Optics).

The ‘perhaps I’ve this in my storage’ possibility: Welding shields / goggles (free-$20)

This one’s tough, as a result of whereas you might have a pair of welding goggles in your storage, they have to be no less than shade 14 or darker to suffice, in line with NASA. You may as well decide up a easy piece of shade 14+ welder’s glass at a provide retailer and maintain it up between your eyes and the solar to view the eclipse. At shade 14 and better, they’re darkish sufficient to fulfill transmittance necessities for ISO 12312-2:2015. The factor is, most simple welding goggles aren’t that heavy responsibility — and in the event you aren’t positive, it is not price taking the chance. Belief us.


Celestron’s eclipse binoculars use the right photo voltaic filter materials so you will get a slight closeup of an eclipse with out damaging your eyes.


Getting a more in-depth have a look at an inexpensive worth: Photo voltaic viewing binoculars ($20-$80)

I would by no means heard of photo voltaic viewing binoculars, however it’s a reasonably cool thought. Utilizing binoculars with authorised ISO photo voltaic filters, resembling this Celestron mannequin, permits you to get a barely magnified have a look at the solar. You will should train some warning placing them up and taking them down off your face, however in the event you’re a photo voltaic fanatic, this may be an important possibility. (Be aware: Do not ever use commonplace binoculars to take a look at the solar. If you happen to’ve ever held a magnifying glass over an ant on a sunny day… nicely, think about that ant is your retina. Ouch.)

Going eclipse gonzo: A telescope with photo voltaic filter lens (Value: doubtlessly astronomical)

If you have already got a telescope, you are in all probability extra of an area fanatic than I’m, so I may be repeating what you already know. However you should purchase photo voltaic filters in your telescope that permit you to get a more in-depth look with out harming your eyes. A few of these filters are comparatively inexpensive, and a few may be very costly, letting you view the solar at very particular wavelengths. (Once more, do not ever view the solar via a telescope with out the right tools. See: aforementioned ant/retina comparability.)

Total, you will have a variety of completely different choices for trying out the upcoming eclipse. Simply make security your No. 1 precedence and you may come out the opposite aspect with the identical retinas you confirmed up with.

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