Observing a solar eclipse is an uncommon and enthralling event treasured by individuals globally. The most recent occurrence visible to Americans took place on August 21, 2017, prompting millions to wear specialized eyewear for a secure and mesmerizing experience. Yet, the importance of adequate eye protection for solar eclipse viewing cannot be emphasized enough. Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensuring your safety, particularly if you own welding goggles suited for this purpose. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-prepared for the next solar eclipse, set to traverse North America again on April 8, 2024. With the appropriate eyewear, you can take advantage of this extraordinary spectacle.

Understanding the Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is a celestial event when the moon moves directly between the sun and the Earth, causing the moon’s shadow to fall on Earth’s surface. As the moon aligns with the sun, it gradually obscures the sun’s bright disk, creating a captivating phenomenon known as a crescent shape in the sky. This gradual blocking of the sun’s light results in a dramatic dimming of the surroundings, casting an eerie twilight across the landscape.

However, it is during the total eclipse phase that the solar spectacle reaches its peak. As the moon fully covers the sun, the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, becomes visible. The corona appears as a radiant crown of light surrounding the obscured sun, shimmering in hues of white and pale blue against the darkened sky. This ethereal display of the sun’s corona is a breathtaking sight, inspiring awe and wonder among observers.

Additionally, during a total solar eclipse, another layer of the sun’s atmosphere known as the chromosphere becomes visible. The chromosphere is a thin, reddish gaseous layer located just above the photosphere, the sun’s visible surface. During the total eclipse, the chromosphere presents itself as a delicate, reddish hue surrounding the sun’s darkened disk, adding to the celestial spectacle unfolding in the sky.

Together, the appearance of the sun’s corona and chromosphere during a total solar eclipse creates a truly mesmerizing and unforgettable experience for those fortunate enough to witness it. The intricate interplay of light and shadow, along with the rare opportunity to glimpse the sun’s hidden layers, makes the phenomenon of a total solar eclipse a cherished moment in the realm of astronomy and natural wonders.

Why Eye Protection is Essential

Eye protection is crucial during every phase of a solar eclipse, as even during a total eclipse, harmful rays emanate from around the moon and can inflict irreversible damage on unprotected eyes due to the sun’s intense radiation. Without appropriate eyewear, the risks of ocular damage are significant, potentially leading to conditions such as solar retinopathy, which can result in permanent central vision loss, distorted vision, and altered color perception. The consequences of inadequate eye protection during solar observation can be severe, underscoring the paramount importance of ensuring proper eye shielding to safeguard visual health and prevent long-term impairment.

What Happens if You Don’t Have Eye Protection on While Viewing the Solar Eclipse?

It is important to ensure that you have the right type of eyewear when viewing the solar eclipse. Even if you are only looking at the solar eclipse for a brief amount of time, it can be detrimental to your eyes without the proper eyewear. Anything less than approved eyewear can cause any of the following damage:

Loss of central vision (solar retinopathy)

Distorted vision

Altered color vision

The damage done to your eyes could be permanent.

What Types of Eyewear Provide Protection?

When it comes to safeguarding your eyes during a solar eclipse, there are multiple options to consider for eye protection. While some may explore specialized glasses or improvised viewing techniques, prioritizing NASA-approved solar eclipse glasses is highly recommended. Additionally, welding safety goggles boasting a shade rating of 12 or higher, also backed by NASA’s endorsement, present another reliable option. These protective measures ensure not only defense against welding hazards but also effective shielding from the potentially harmful radiation emitted during solar observation.  However, there’s nothing quite like the direct viewing experience while ensuring your eyes remain protected. It’s important to note that even disposable solar eclipse glasses carry risks under specific conditions. If you notice any signs of wear, cracks, punctures, or scratches, it’s crucial not to use them. Additionally, when selecting solar glasses, ensure they adhere to ISO 12312-2 standards. Older glasses, pre-dating 2015, may come with usage warnings, limiting viewing time to 3 minutes and recommending disposal after 3 years. Welding safety goggles with a shade rating of 12 or higher are designed for welding tasks, and effectively shield your eyes from hazardous debris and the intense sparks of molten heat and light. The lenses with a shade rating of 12 or higher are sufficiently dark to allow safe observation of a solar eclipse. They block a significant portion of UV light and IR radiation, making them a robust choice for eclipse viewing. The Solar Eclipse Glasses Shade 14, Welding Glass Lenses meet the ISO 12312-2:2015 standards and are deemed safe for enjoying the next solar eclipse. These lenses, exceptionally dark at shade 14, offer optimal protection for your eyes.

Safety Guidelines for Viewing

Even if you have the proper eyewear to watch the solar eclipse, you still need to follow precautions. Here are some guidelines for a safe viewing:

  • Always wear eye protection before looking at the sun.
  • Shield your eyes when putting on or removing goggles.
  • Refrain from removing goggles until your face is downward.
  • Avoid using smartphones, cameras, or telescopes without proper lenses.
  • Take breaks from viewing to prevent eye strain and fatigue.

The Next Solar Eclipse

Make sure to note down the date for the forthcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, which will be visible across North America. With the appropriate eyewear, you can confidently engage in observing this celestial phenomenon safely.

At Rx-Safety, we have a vast supply of eyewear for you to browse. Our prescription and non-prescription glasses and goggles meet the highest safety standards necessary for your needs. We also carry sunglasses in a wide variety of brands and they are prescription ready as well. Connect with us today and check out the many brands and styles of eyewear available. Prepare for the next solar eclipse while you are at it. You will find the perfect glasses to meet your all your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Blog

Stay on top of the latest news about prescription safety glasses, eyewear, sunglasses, and all the trends in the industry.


Sign up for our Newsletter

Be the first one to know about promotion, new products, and more.

Follow Us On Instagram @rx_safety

; ;