AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A total eclipse of the sun is a rare event, last seen in the United States in 1979. This phenomenon will happen on August 21, 2017 and will be visible from Oregon to South Carolina in a 70 mile-wide path. The eclipse occurs when the moon crosses the path of the sun, blocking the sun from view and creating a twilight sky. Locally in Auburn Hills, a partial eclipse will begin at approximately 1:03 pm and end about 3:46 pm.
Staring at the sun during the eclipse can cause permanent damage to your eyes and can even cause blindness. According to NASA, "the proper way to look directly at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers." (more at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety)
NASA offers, an alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun using pinhole projection. To do this:
- Cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern.
- With your back to the sun, look at your hands' shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.
- Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent Suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.
Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, do not protect your eyes. Only solar filters that meet special standards known as ISO 12312-2 are safe for viewing the eclipse.
Russel N. Van Gelder, MD, Ph.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, explains that the lenses in your eyes act like a magnifying glass, one that is five times more powerful than a handheld magnifier. Think about how you can use that typical handheld magnifier to focus the sun to burn holes in paper. That's what happens when you look at the sun without eye protection. You focus the sun's light on the retina, burning holes in light-sensitive photoreceptor cells, causing blindness.
Auburn Hills eye surgeon, Leslie Emmert-Buck, MD, warns against allowing anyone, including children and adults, to view the solar eclipse, without proper eye protection and adult supervision.
"As a mother of three, I am excited to share this rare experience with my children. However it's important to educate them and adults, about how to safely view this rare occurrence. Specialized solar filters, meeting international safety standards are absolutely essential for viewing this astronomical event," said Dr. Emmert-Buck.
There are no exceptions to the rules for safely viewing a partial solar eclipse. To make sure people have the facts, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Astronomical Society offer the following guidelines:
- Use specially designed solar eclipse glasses and viewers to block the sun's harmful rays. Ordinary sunglasses, even dark ones, are not strong enough to protect your eyes.
- Inspect your solar filter before the eclipse, and don't use it if it's scratched or damaged.
- Another option is to view the eclipse through #14 welder's glass. That's much darker than the shades arc welders typically wear.
- Use solar filters on camera lenses, binoculars, and telescopes. These filters must be on the front of the device, before the light enters the lens.
- Do not use solar eclipse glasses to look through a camera, binoculars or a telescope. Because the rays are concentrated through the device, the sun can damage the filter in the glasses and, in turn, damage your eyes.
As a service to the community, Dr. Emmert-Buck is providing 100 pair of eclipse glasses for safe viewing. Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisionCorrectionDr.LeslieEB/ to register for the random drawing on Facebook. The winners will be notified on August 17th.
For more information on solar eclipse safety or other eye care concerns, contact Leslie Emmert-Buck, MD, PhD at 443-415-9024.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. Dr. Emmert-Buck will be opening Capstone Vision, a comprehensive vision correction ophthalmology center dedicated to the most compassionate, individualized, and highest standard of eye care at 2251 Squirrel Rd., Suite 301, Auburn Hills this fall. Watch for more details about Capstone Vision, coming soon at www.mycapstonevision.com.
SOURCE Capstone Vision