LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – Be sure you can safely view the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

A solar eclipse will be happening on Aug. 21 and should be visible across parts of North America. While some parts of North America will see a total eclipse not everyone will and the only way to look at the sun safely during a partial eclipse is to have certified eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers.

NASA has issued some tips to ensure you have certified glasses or solar viewers for Aug. 21.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe to look at the sun with. To date five manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.


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NASA says you need to inspect your solar filter before use and it they are damaged to discard it. Be sure to read and follow instructions printed on the glasses or viewers. Children should have adult supervision.

NASA says to do the following when you use your glasses/viewers:

• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

• If you are within the path of totality (https://go.nasa.gov/2pC0lhe), remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

You can also safely view the eclipse with a pinhole project. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

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