Safety Tips for Solar Eclipse Viewing

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WESLACO – The great American Eclipse of 2017 is just a couple of days away.

As it draws closer, there are a couple of things you need to know. The sun rays are blinding, even during an eclipse.

“The same radiation that is coming out of the sun when it’s not being blocked is also coming out of the sun when it is being blocked. So looking at the sun whether it is 80,90 or 50 percent blocked, will still cause damage to your retina,” said optometrist Dr. Luis Navarro.

Navarro adds it may take days, weeks or even months for the damage to occur, but once it does, it’s permanent.

Use special eclipse glasses available to stores across the Rio Grande Valley.

Here’s a list of manufacturers whose glasses have been approved for solar viewing.

  • American Paper Optics
  • APM Telescope
  • Baader Planetarium
  • Celestron, DayStar
  • Explore Scientific
  • Halo Solar Eclipse Spectacle
  • Jaxy Optical Instruments
  • Lunt Solar Systems
  • Meade Instruments
  • Rainbow Symphony
  • Seymour Solar
  • Solar Eclipose International
  • Thousand Oaks Optical
  • TSE 17

Another way to safely look at the eclipse is to pick up a piece of number 14 welder’s glass at a hardward store. That’ll give you an incredible view.

One other simple and inexpensive way to watch the eclipse indirectly is by using a couple of pieces of paper.

You start with a piece of paper and poke a hole in it. Once you’ve done that, you would simply project that hole onto another piece of paper on the ground, that’s where the eclipse will appear.

One extra suggestion.

“Scientifically, there is no truth about any sort of harm that can come to a baby during an eclipse,” said OB/GYN Dr. Wayne Wilson. “It actually started with the Aztecs.  The Aztecs felt that during an eclipse that part of the sun or the moon was bitten out and that the same thing can happen to a baby.  And so, the mothers back then wore something over their tummies to protect their babies from having something bitten out.  The big concern that most people have about an eclipse is that the baby will have a cleft lip or cleft palate."

Wilson has advice for pregnant women, “She should enjoy the eclipse., but it’s certainly not going to hurt her to wear a pin or a key.”

Check back in with Tim Smith on his Facebook page, as well as the KRGV Facebook page, as he travels up to Missouri to view the eclipse.


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