The August 21st total solar eclipse is quickly approaching. A total eclipse occurs when the central disk of the sun is entirely covered by the moon. Although you probably have seen a partial solar eclipse, total eclipses are much more uncommon. If you are located in the US, you’ll be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse. However, those who are located in the path of totality will see a total eclipse. The path of totality is a 70-mile-wide band that stretches from central Oregon through South Carolina. Depending on where you’re located, you’ll see the moon completely covering the sun for nearly three minutes. Before staring directly at the celestial phenomenon with your naked eye, it’s important to prepare properly in order to avoid permanently damaging your vision. Here’s how.


To view the solar eclipse directly and safety, use solar-viewing glasses. According to NASA, solar-viewing glasses should meet the required safety standards. However, not all eyeglasses are created equal. Unfortunately, there are several unsafe and counterfeit solar-viewing glasses on the market. Look for certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 label, the manufacturer’s name and address, scratched or damaged lenses, and an expiration date. Never wear ordinary sunglasses as a way to protect your eyes during an eclipse. Telescopes, cameras, binoculars, and additional optical devices need to be equipped with their own solar filters. If you are in the path of totality, it’s safe to remove the solar filter when the moon is completely obscuring the sun. Always inspect the solar filter before use. If you notice any damage, it’s smart to discard it. To view reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers before the August 21st total eclipse, check out the American Astronomical Society. These vendors are verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard.


If you have any questions about how to properly protect your eyes during the eclipse, contact the professionals at Davis Vision Center. We specialize in providing the highest quality and most advanced eye care in the state of Utah.