It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event – the total solar eclipse occurring on August 21, 2017, will be viewable across North America, and the next one this visible won’t happen again until 2771.
All this hype, has prompted millions of people to plan on watching it. But Lou Tomososki has a warning to kids planning to look at the sun – whatever you do, don’t do it with the naked eye. “Watch it get dark. Don’t look up at the sun, especially young children … You’ll be sorry.”
Lou looked at the solar eclipse back in the 1960s and that 20 seconds cost him sight in his right eye. That’s because he did it without proper eye protection or a cardboard cut out and he looked directly at it. This despite having his science teacher and classmates there with him.
His warning comes after numerous news outlets have cautioned that people be sure they are getting appropriate eye protection to watch the spectacle, after it was revealed that some stores are selling cheap knock-offs of the solar viewing eyewear.
The proper solar safety glasses must block 99.99 % of the sun’s rays and will have a special ISO label/number. When you put them on, everything should be totally dark. That’s a good thing. Watch the video below for more details, as this meteorologist walks through what to look for in solar eye glasses.
But if you don’t have time to get those glasses, then you can make a your own solar eclipse projector using a cardboard box, some tape and white paper. Check out how to make one in the video below.
Also, many groups in areas around North America are hosting solar eclipse watch parties such as city parks, universities, astronomy observatories and the like. Check your local listings to find an event near you.