For two minutes and 43 seconds on Monday, many Americans will have the chance to take in one nature’s greatest shows. But with all of the excitement around the astronomical event, it might be easy to overlook the health risks involved with staring at the sun.
That very bright light can actually do damage if you stare at it. It causes a condition called solar retinopathy. What happens is there’s an irreversible damage to the retina, so you have a blind spot.
The simplest way to protect yourself is eclipse glasses, which have special solar filters that make it safe to look directly at the sun. Consumer Reports recommends ones labeled with the safety code ISO 12312-2, which designates the international standard for solar filters.
There have been cases of counterfeits sold with this code on it, so make sure to buy them from a reputable vendor listed on the American Astronomical Society’s website.
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