Can you look at the solar eclipse with sunglasses? How to watch the ‘Ring of Fire’ safely

LOOKING at a solar eclipse without the proper protection can be highly damaging to your eyes.

Here’s how to watch safely.

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People are advised not to watch the eclipse without special eye protection[/caption]

Can you look at the solar eclipse?

Stargazers will be able to watch the spectacle of a solar eclipse later this morning but Brits are warned to make sure they have the proper protection as looking directly at the sun can cause blindness.

Never look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse.

Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

After viewing a solar eclipse, seek treatment from an eye care professional if you or your child have any changes in vision that continue to get worse.

Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy. 

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Using sunglasses, even with UV protection, is not advised[/caption]

How to watch the solar eclipse safely

The only time that you can safely view a solar eclipse without special equipment is during a total solar eclipse – and even then experts advise to take caution.

It is never safe to look at a partial solar eclipse without proper safety equipment or techniques.

Basic sunglasses, even those with UV protection, will not sufficiently protect your eyes.

Don’t watch through your smartphone – there is a danger of accidentally looking at the sun when trying to line up your camera.

Pinhole projection

This is the safest and most inexpensive way to watch a solar eclipse.

This do-it-yourself method involves making a pinhole in a cardboard paper with the sun on one side and a piece of paper three feet away without obstruction to project the image on the other side.

Do not to look through the pinhole at the sun.

Welders glass

A number 14 welder’s glass will provide effective protection, if you can find one.

This glass will reduce the harmful rays that are emitted during the eclipse.

Do not use if there are any scratches or damage to the glass.

Mylar filters

Aluminized mylar plastic sheets can be used as eclipse vision glasses or can be cut and made into a viewing box.

Do not use if there are any scratches or damage to the sheet.


Stargazers in the UK will be able to see the solar eclipse from just after 10am but Brits won’t get to see a total eclipse[/caption]

Where can I see the solar eclipse?

The eclipse begins just north of Lake Superior. It runs through northern Ontario, across eastern Hudson Bay, northern Quebec and up through parts of Nunavut like Baffin Island.

The path also clips parts of western Greenland.

The annular eclipse continues over the Arctic and wraps over the top of our planet until it enters eastern Russia from the north. 

In the UK, it is due to begin at 10.07am with the maximum eclipse expected to happen at 11.13am – when the moon will cover nearly one-third of the sun.

It is due to end at 12.26pm.

Times will vary slightly depending where you are in the country.

For people in Edinburgh the start of the eclipse is due to begin at 10.08am with the maximum eclipse at 11.17am.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun, blocking the light.

It only occurs during a new moon phase.

There are four types of solar eclipse.

The next solar eclipse will be an annular solar eclipse and is due to occur on June 10, 2021.

Some parts of the northern hemisphere will experience a total eclipse most prominently parts of northern Greenland, parts of nearby Baffin Bay, eastern Hudson Bay and northeastern Russia.

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