Solar eclipses are fun events, and they give people a chance to learn more about the solar system. However, it is important to view these events safely with custom eclipse glasses or other approved equipment. Here are 5 methods for viewing you should stay away from if you wish to avoid eye damage.
1. Smoked or Tinted Glass
Many people believe you can safely look at the sun if you have something dark and transparent. The truth is, most tinted or smoked glass products shade the eyes and make it easier to look at bright sunlight. Yet, this does not filter out harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
When you wear sunglasses, it is easier on your eyes in bright light. However, most sunglasses are not designed to protect you from gazing directly at the sun. True, they are safer than watching with the naked eye but not safe enough. Some sunglasses (like blue blockers) block certain UV rays, but do not work like standard or custom eclipse glasses which are specifically designed for viewing the sun during an eclipse.
3. Cameras and Smart Phones
You can take pictures of eclipses with your smartphone or standard cameras. However, unless you wear approved eyewear, you do not receive any protection from the sun’s dangerous rays.
4. Photo Film Negatives
Photographic film negatives are dark and filter out a lot of bright light. However, they do not filter out the same light as standard or custom eclipse glasses or other approved ways of viewing the sun.
5. Telescope Solar Filters
Some solar filters are safe for sun viewing. However, cheap telescopes may have dark filters but may not protect your vision from harmful UV and infrared light. You should not take chances with your vision when the proper eyewear is so inexpensive these days.