News

San Antonio Astronomical Association informs the city of potential eye damage from upcoming eclipse

On August 21, there will be a Total Solar Eclipse cutting across the continental United States. In San Antonio, the moon will slowly obscure the sun’s disk to a maximum of 61% by mid-day in a Partial Solar Eclipse. Those along the narrow path of total solar eclipse will be able to view the sun with the naked eye at the moment of totality, but San Antonio lies outside that path, so any attempt to view the partial eclipse with the naked eye may result in SEVERE and IRREVERSABLE EYE DAMAGE.

However, there are several safe ways to observe the partial eclipse.  ECLIPSE GLASSES are on sale now for about $1.00 from various sources on the internet.  Google “Eclipse Glasses” to find vendors and more information (the glasses resemble old style 3D movie glasses) but please SHOP NOW!  Inventories will surely sell out as the eclipse nears.  There are also several safe ways to observe the event using simple projection methods with everyday supplies (e.g. two pieces of paper.)  Again, Google “Ways to safely observe the eclipse” for suggestions.

It is especially important that children and adolescents be made aware of the dangers of observing the partial eclipse with the naked eye, given the event will last for hours and the temptation to sneak a peek as the moon slowly creeps across the face of the sun may be irresistible.  The damage to your eyes, however, will not be reduced by the moon’s diminishing of the sun’s brightness because the most damaging portion of sunlight will still be present.

Don’t miss this celestial spectacle but be smart and safe.

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