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
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 7 Finale Spoilers: Kurt Sutter On Ending The Biker Series And Picking The Right Song For The Final Ride
- Prince Charles’ Wife Camilla Parker-Bowles In Drug Scandal - Reports
- Prince Harry Kissing Mystery Blond, Cressida Bonas & Camilla Thurlow Are Distant Memory
- St. Louis Rams 28, Seattle Seahawks 26 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Spotted All Smiles, Sickness Seems Over
- 14 Contestants For Miss Hitler 2014 Beauty Pageant Organised By Russian Equivalent Of Facebook
- ISIS Crucifies Teenage Boy For Filming Syrian Base; Image Of Baby Girl Being Beheaded Found [VIDEO]
- Pregnant Kate Middleton Planning Christmas With Her Family In Anmer Hall, Norfolk--Report
- How Australian Father Stabbed 11-Year-Old Son Dead, More Details Emerge
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Performance and User Interface Comparison
- Fappening: Message Board Posters Belittle Nude Photo Leakers As D-Listers Seeking Publicity
- Fappening: Lindsay Clubine, Wife Of Boston Red Sox Pitcher Clay Buchholz, & George Sampson Of Britain’s Got Talent, Are The Latest Victims Of Celebrity Nude Leaks
- U.S. Missile Shield In Europe Opens In Romania: Russia's Reservations Ignored