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Eye Safety is Essential when Viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse

solar eclipseAs our region gears up for Monday’s solar eclipse, Hardin Memorial Health would like to stress that it’s important to keep eye safety in mind.

For around three hours on Monday, Aug. 21 beginning at 12:55 p.m., the moon will slowly move in front of the sun, creating a rare eclipse.

“It’s not safe to stare directly into the sun, even if it is partially covered,” said Dr. Benjamin Proctor, a surgical ophthalmologist.

Our region is not in the path of totality, meaning the sun will not be completely covered, but only about 97.6 percent, according to NASA. When at it’s peak the sky will be slightly darker than a cloudy day.

“Viewers will need to take necessary precautions in order to safely view the eclipse,” Proctor said.

These precautions can include:

  1. Uses certified solar eclipse glasses as regular sunglasses are not safe to view the eclipse. Special solar eclipse glasses will allow you to view the entire solar eclipse safely. A list of reputable venders can be found here.
  2. Pinhole projecters will allow users to see the effects of the eclipse without having to look at the sun. Learn more about safe projection methods here.
  3. Do not use of binoculars at any point of the eclipse unless an approved solar viewing filter has been added.
  4. Children should be under direct supervision of a responsible adult to ensure glasses are covering the child’s eyes at all times.

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