Eye safety a big concern during the solar eclipse

6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, July 26 2017 Jul 26, 2017 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 4:53:00 PM CDT July 26, 2017 in Eclipse Science
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Chief Meteorologist
loading

COLUMBIA - The views you will experience during the total solar eclipse might take your breath away, but in order to see the solar corona safely you must have proper eye protection. If you don’t wear approved solar eyewear, Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder, the Director of Ophthalmology at MU Health, said you could do serious damage to your eyes.

“The sun burns the very important layer of the retina called the macula," explained Fraunfelder. "Damaging the cones in your macula can permanently damage your vision by burning them with direct light from the sun."

Fraunfelder says eclipse glasses have a solar film that will block out many light waves regular sunglasses will not. “They will block out UVA, UVB, infrared light, and also intense visual light."

It’s important to block this light out so you can safely look directly into the sun for the partial eclipse before and after totality.

During totality, when the sun’s light is completely blocked out for up to 2:40 in mid-Missouri, you will need to take the glasses off in order to see the spectacle that is night during the day. You will see stars, a few planets and the solar corona, the sun's atmosphere. Read our Deep Dive into the eclipse for the answers to common questions about this event.

However, be sure you don’t take the glasses off too soon. If you do, you may miss out on totality altogether. Your eyes might not be able to adjust to the darkness if you catch a glimpse of the sun’s light prior to totality.

“We call that an after image,” says Fraunfelder, “and that is neural signals to your brain still firing after the lights already stimulated the rods and the cones and after images is a good way to explain you sorta see purple or red after you've stared into a bright light."

Be sure your glasses are approved and safe! NASA released a statement saying glasses are being passed around that do not meet adequate safety guidelines. Glasses must have "ISO 12312-2" printed on them. Only four companies have been approved as manufacturing safe solar eclipse glasses: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17. Check your glasses to be sure you're protected.

Using a magnifying system such as binoculars? You must have a solar filter on the front of the binoculars or telescope. If you look through non-filtered magnification of the Sun's light through solar glasses positioned over your eyes there will be considerable damage to your eyes. Again, the sun's light and energy is being magnified and solar glasses are not made to withstand that.

You can read more about safe solar eclipse viewing on NASA’s website.

Pick up your free KOMU 8 Show Me Eclipse glasses at Dollar General Stores in Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton and Mexico while supplies last. The Mizzou Store is also selling eclipse glasses for $1.50 with some proceeds going back to the Astronomy Department.

If you’re wondering what the night sky may look like in the early afternoon on August 21st during totality, you can see the image above.

You can read all our Show Me Eclipse coverage, continuously updating with new content, at KOMU.com/eclipse.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia plans to pull together a group of professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
CENTERTOWN - A warm, but blustery Sunday morning carried the smell of gunpowder over Rock Creek Road in Centertown, a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will soon be supplementing classroom training with online courses, according to Public Information Officer... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:14:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A fire destroyed a home on East Mount Hope Road early Sunday morning. Boone County Fire... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:53:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
Eric Hosmer is leaving the Royals. Hosmer signed an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres for for around... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 12:04:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - More than 100 students gathered to compete in the 2018 Columbia Elementary & Middle School Scholastic Chess Tournament... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Father Tolton Catholic High School Blazers and the Battle High School Spartan Sparklers came to share their... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Department is taking precautionary measures after a school shooting at a Florida high school. The... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:36:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – Elementary students displayed their creativity on Saturday. Hy-Vee hosted a Junior Chefs Energy Bite competition. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police were unsure Saturday who drove a vehicle they believe hit and killed a man on I-70.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
3 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid complaints about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine is... More >>
3 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say the substance used in an attack on three high school... More >>
3 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:43:53 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou basketball player Michael Porter Jr. may be on the bench this season but that hasn’t kept him... More >>
3 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies arrested a man Friday morning after he allegedly led them on a pursuit that ended in a... More >>
3 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:55:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
12am 62°
1am 63°
2am 63°
3am 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:05p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
12:00a
2018 Olympic Winter Games
3:30a
Inside Edition
11:30p
The King of Queens
12:00a
King of the Hill
12:30a
Cops

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld