|On August 21, 2017, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse is when the moon aligns perfectly over the sun making only the sun’s corona (the outermost part) visible. At this time the sky goes dark and temperatures may even fall. During many eclipses animals (including your pets) may change their behavior, often going quiet or sleeping, thinking that twilight has arrived.
This year, Oregon to South Carolina lie in the direct path of totality. The timing and duration of the eclipse will depend on where you are inside that path. Although Florida will not be able to visualize a complete eclipse, a partial one may be observed, which is equally as fascinating! Visit https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-august-21 to determine the exact time of when the eclipse in your area can be seen.
It is important to understand that observing the sun during an eclipse can be dangerous if you do not have the proper eye protection. Although you should never risk it, the only time the sun can be safely viewed with the naked eye is during a total eclipse (never partial). During partial phases of the solar eclipse when 99% of the sun’s surface is obscured, the remaining radiation is so intense that it can cause severe burns to the eye.
Failure to take the correct precautions and use proper observing methods may lead to permanent vision loss. Damage to the eye may not be immediately noticeable but may occur later with symptoms of blurred vision or complete vision loss. Diseases of the eye such as cataracts, macular degeneration, solar retinopathy and photokeratitis (UV keratitis) are all caused from over exposure to UV.
For those wondering why everyone always emphasizes not to look at the sun during an eclipse let us explain! On a normal day where the sun would be shining bright, one would squint, blink or turn away to avoid looking at the direct sunlight. Because the moon covers part of the sun during an eclipse, it is more comfortable to look at it for long periods of time, leading to problems. Normal sunglasses, even those with dark lenses are not strong enough to protect your eyes from the damaging rays. Proper eclipse glasses that are marked with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 are the only ones recommended by NASA. The companies approved for selling these types of glasses are Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17. Glasses purchased elsewhere may not meet the appropriate standard.
Happy Viewing! -Dr. Olivares
The Eye Center is giving away FREE eclipse glasses during the month of August, leading up to the eclipse. All you have to do is like us on Facebook, tag a friend you want to watch the solar eclipse with and share our solar eclipse post. We will have 2 pairs of eclipse glasses for you at our front desk!
Our Facebook page >>>>> https://www.facebook.com/EyeCenterFL
***You must be able to pick up the glasses from the office (glasses will not be mailed).