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The Solar Eclipse Is Next Week–Here’s How to Safely Watch It

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We’re all excited about the solar eclipse that is happening next week on Monday, August 21st. It’s a big deal: what’s about to happen is the moon will completely eclipse the sun, and we’ll actually be able to see it!

Everyone in the U.S. will see a partial view of eclipse, but if you live in the area of land that cuts from Oregon to South Carolina, you’ll see the total eclipse, you lucky humans, you. According to NASA, the path is as follows:

NASA

NASA

As NPR pointed out, this is the “first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in 99 years,” so you probably don’t want to miss it. That being said, you have to be careful, considering you can’t stare directly into the eclipse. It’s still the sun!

NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce explained:

“The only time it will be safe to look with the naked eye is during the brief window of so-called totality, when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. … When any part of the sun is uncovered and the eclipse is only partial, viewers need eye protection — even if there’s just a tiny crescent of sun left in the sky, [says Ralph] Chou, [a professor emeritus of optometry and vision science at the University of Waterloo].

” ‘That crescent of sun is glowing every bit as brightly as it would on a day when there isn’t a solar eclipse,’ he says. ‘The difference is that instead of leaving a round burn on the back of the eye, it will leave a crescent-shaped burn at the back of the eye.’

“Don’t think it’s safe to take quick, surreptitious glances, he warns.

” ‘Actually, those quick little glances do add up,’ says Chou, ‘and they can, in fact, accumulate to the point where you do get damage at the back of the eye.’ “

Because of this, it may be a good idea to purchase solar glasses if you and your family want to view the eclipse–but make sure to buy accredited glasses–the American Astronomical Society has a list here. Below is an example (which you can order on Amazon):

http://amzn.to/2x4PAEd

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