Total Solar Eclipse 2012 in Australia: Eye Safety Tips - Forget Floppy Disks, Get Welder's Glass
By Arlene Paredes | November 13, 2012 2:38 PM EST
A total solar eclipse is an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. Many people would travel across the world just to see it progress slowly in a span of hours. But everyone is warned against the dangers of looking directly into the sun even when it would appear to be largely covered by the passing moon.
Professor B. Ralph Chou from the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo has some eye safety tips for those eager to observe the extraordinary astronomical event that is the total solar eclipse.
Prof. Chou also offers some science lesson pointers to teachers and parents. The solar eclipse is a cosmic opportunity to pique children's mind to science wonders.
Total Solar Eclipse: Protect your eyes, get the right filters
"When a person looks repeatedly or for a long time at the Sun without proper protection for the eyes, this photochemical retinal damage may be accompanied by a thermal injury - the high level of visible and near-infrared radiation causes heating that literally cooks the exposed tissue," writes Prof. Chou.
To avoid "eclipse blindness" or retinal burns, view the sun with filters designed to protect the eyes. Prof. Chou recommends "shade number 14 welder's glass." You can buy this from welding supply stores.
Using floppy disks or ripped CDs for solar eclipse viewing? Uh-oh.
"The optical quality of the solar image formed by a floppy disk or CD is relatively poor compared to mylar or welder's glass," Prof. Chou warned.
The optometry expert further cautioned solar eclipse observers: "No filter should be used with an optical device (e.g. binoculars, telescope, camera) unless it has been specifically designed for that purpose and is mounted at the front end (i.e., end towards the Sun)."
"Unsafe filters include all color film, black-and-white film that contains no silver, photographic negatives with images on them (x-rays and snapshots), smoked glass, sunglasses (single or multiple pairs), photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. "
Nurturing Science Whiz: What parents and teachers can teach the kids during an eclipse
- Discuss the laws of motion and the mathematics of orbital motion, and how these are used in forecasting the occurrence of eclipses.
- Demonstrate the use of pinhole cameras and telescopes. Explain how the optics of these devices works.
- Discuss the changes in environmental light levels and relate this to radiometry and photometry.
- Associate behavior of plants and animals to the progress of an eclipse.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy:Camilla And Princess Eugenie Reportedly Jealous, Claimed Duchess Only Good At Making Babies
- Pregnant Kate Middleton Wants To Have A Big Family With ‘Five Children’ At Anmer Hall Residence- Reports
- ISIS European Teen Jihadists Allegedly Pregnant; New Zealand Silent On Kiwi Jihadist's Request To Return Home
- New Zealand Scientists Dissect Well-Preserved Female Colossal Squid [VIDEO]
- This Model Thinks She Is A Bombshell After Plastic Surgery Costing £30,000 Makes Her Look Like A Sex Toy
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Canadian IS Jihadist Wants to ‘Play Soccer’ with Heads of US Decapitated Soldiers
- Warning to U.S. – ISIS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet
- Spice Dream Uno vs Xiaomi Redmi 1S: Android One Smartphone to Challenge The Existing Budget Friendly Smartphone