Eclipses are an amazing part of nature that everyone should experience at least once. Lunar eclipses are easy to view because they don’t require any type of special eye protection, but solar eclipses are even more impressive–if you have the right eye wear. If you want to experience the beauty and the majesty of a solar eclipse, then you should buy high quality solar eclipse glasses.
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth. This creates a shadow, along with that iconic image people associate with the event where only the outline of the sun is visible. A solar eclipse casts a number of different types of shadows over the earth, with very distinct effects.
The Umbra is the innermost and darkest part of the moon’s shadow, blocking out the sunlight completely. The next shadow is the Penumbra, which is the lightest part of the moon’s shadow and blocks only some of the sun’s light. Finally, the last type of shadow is the Antumbra, which lies outside of the umbra, and creates that iconic rim of the sun around the moon.
In addition to these various types of shadows, solar eclipses come in a variety of types as well, ranging from total and partial to annular and hybrid. A total eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun, and the observer is in the direct path of the moon’s umbra and penumbra. During a partial eclipse, the moon doesn’t fully cover the sun, and only the penumbra is cast down. The annular eclipse occurs when the moon’s disc covers the center of the sun’s disc, and the antumbra is cast down on the earth. Finally, a hybrid eclipse is rare, and occurs when an annular eclipse turns into a total eclipse.
The next solar eclipse will take place in North America on August 21, 2017. So it’s never too soon to start planning, and begin to research where the event will be most intense in order to get the best possible experience. But if you are committed to chasing solar eclipses, you should plan to visit to Africa on September 1st for an annular eclipse.
Why do you need special glasses?
As we’ve all heard from our parents at some point, you should never look directly at the sun. That’s because as you might imagine, doing so can cause permanent eye damage. You may think that a solar eclipse mitigates the damage, because you aren’t technically looking directly at the sun. But in fact, that is not the case; special eye wear is still necessary.
Even though the moon is casting a shadow onto the earth during the event, it cannot block all the rays being emitted by the sun. When you try to look at the sun on a normal day, you will never look directly at it. Instead, you will squint your eyes and then avert them. But during a solar eclipse, you’ll be more tempted to look directly at it without instinctively protecting your eyes. Yet, the sunlight – even mitigated – sends off ultraviolet rays that can cause eye problems such as macular degeneration, solar retinitis, and corneal dystrophies.
In other words, looking at the sun even during a solar eclipse without protection will be dangerous for your eyes, and even lead to blindness. Even though a shadow will make the light seem less dangerous during a solar eclipse, any small sliver of sunlight will bring with it ultraviolet rays, infrared light, and intense light. And since your retina doesn’t have a pain receptor, you won’t know that you have injured your eyes until after you’ve already sustained damage.
What are solar eclipse glasses?
Of course, the natural spectacle of a solar eclipse is something you don’t want to miss. To stay safe while enjoying the phenomenon, you need to find the right eye wear.
Don’t assume that a typical pair of sunglasses will do the job; they simply aren’t strong enough. Instead, you need to look for either a specific pair of solar eclipse glasses or No. 14 welder’s glasses. These glasses will work to view a solar eclipse, because they protect your eyes and don’t let too much light to pass through. Because welders work with fire and molten metals, they need to protect their eyes from the bright glow in the same way you need to protect yours during a solar eclipse.
Of course, you can always buy solar eclipse glasses. These glasses resemble the old 3D glasses of past years, with different lenses but the same overall shape and structure. If you are looking for solar eclipse glasses, you need to make sure that you get a pair specifically designed for this purpose. You don’t want to get the wrong glasses, because not only will they be a waste of money, but they can harm your eyes without you even noticing it. Be sure to get glasses that are certified in order to ensure that you have the right set.
A solar eclipse is a majestic event to witness, and if you live in the USA, then next year is your chance to experience this natural spectacle for yourself. Whether you live in an area that will be directly affected, or are planning a trip to coincide with next year’s event, it is vital to have the right eye wear.
When you invest in high quality solar eclipse glasses, you can rest assured knowing that your eyes will be protected from the harmful rays of the sun and that you’ll be able to enjoy the solar eclipse to the fullest extent. To learn more about using the proper eye wear, please contact us.