COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - This big day is almost here, and you're probably thinking about where - AND HOW - you'll view the Great American Eclipse. Many of you have questions about the 'how' part, and News 19 has you covered!
With Eclipse Glasses
Both NASA and The American Astronomical Society are warning of fake glasses flooding the market place, including online stores. What do they mean by fake? It means glasses are being sold as "eclipse glasses" and marked as being safe to use for viewing the eclipse when, in fact, they do not provide adequate protection for your eyes.
So, how can you tell legitimate glasses from fake ones? Here's what you need to look for.
NASA officials say only these five manufacturers make certified, approved eclipse glasses:
In addition to these five, The American Astronomical Society recognizes the following manufacturers as safe:
The manufacturer name and address should be printed on the glasses — be sure it’s one recommended by NASA or The American Astronomical Society.
Previous guidance from NASA had recommended consumer make sure glasses have the ISO number 12312-2 printed on them. However, some fakes are printing that on their glasses despite not meeting the requirements. So, do not rely on seeing "ISO number 12312-2" on the glasses. Instead, make sure they are from a recommended manufacturer.
And finally, look through the glasses before you get them. If you look through them and you can actually see things, they are NOT legit. If you look through them, and you can see the ground or see your hand in front of your face, you can be sure they are fake.
Before you worry about going out to get a pair, know that many viewing locations and events will be providing glasses free of charge. If you're planning to view the eclipse at a watch event, check to see if they will be providing glasses.
Once you have your glasses, here's what you need to know.
- If you are within the path of totality, 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 look at the remaining partial phases.
- Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
- If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
No glasses? No problem. You can still enjoy the experience, with a little creativity or the modern convenience of technology!
With Welder's Glasses
Yes, it's true. You can use welder's glasses to view the eclipse -- BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE SHADE 12 OR HIGHER. These are much darker than the filters used for most kinds of welding.
Again, don't assume any pair of welder's glasses will do. The only ones safe for direct viewing of the sun have a filter that is “Shade 12” or higher. Experts say “Shade 13” glasses are better but may be hard to find. If you want a more expensive option, try number 14 welder's glass goggles.
With DIY Pinhole/Projection Devices
You can make your own solar projection viewing devices, and have a little fun with the family in the process!
Here are a few fun and easy options for you to consider.
- Jim Gandy Explains How to Make Eclipse Viewer
- Make a Cereal Box Viewer
- Make an Eclipse Box Viewer
- EASY PEASY Paper Pinhole Viewer
- Download, print and create your own paper Pinhole Projector in the shape of the USA, South Carolina or another state."
- Hack a Pizza Box
Livestream New 19's coverage of the eclipse from wltx.com. In addition to bringing you full coverage from across the Midlands, we'll bring you the Great American Eclipse in totality in complete silence for you to take in the full experience without distraction. We'll also be taking full advantage of our national network of Tegna sister stations to preview the eclipse on the west coast before the Midlands experiences it. Our live coverage begins at 1 p.m. on air, online and on social media.
Related: Find Complete WLTX Eclipse Coverage
Livestream NASA's broadcast, Solar Eclipse: Through the Eyes of NASA. The broadcast will cover the path of totality the eclipse will take across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina, featuring views from NASA research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially-modified telescopes. It also will include live reports from Charleston, as well as from Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Beatrice, Nebraska; Jefferson City, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Clarksville, Tennessee. Coverage begin at 1 p.m., with a preview show at Noon.
Tune in to News 19 at 1 p.m. for complete coverage of the eclipse. In addition to bringing you full coverage from across the Midlands, we'll bring you the Great American Eclipse in totality in complete silence for you to take in the full experience without distraction. We'll also be taking full advantage of our national network of Tegna sister stations to preview the eclipse on the west coast before the Midlands experiences it. Our live coverage begins at 1 p.m. on air, online and on social media.
Here's What NOT To Do
DO NOT look directly at the sun without a special-purpose safe solar filter such as eclipse glasses.
DO NOT use your eclipse glasses if they are scratched, punctured, torn or otherwise damaged.
DO NOT use ordinary sunglasses (or multiple pairs of sunglasses), neutral density or polarizing filters (such as those made for camera lenses), smoked glass, photographic or X-ray film (unexposed, exposed, or developed), "space blankets," potato-chip bags, DVDs, and any other materials you may have heard about for solar viewing are not safe.
DO NOT hold binoculars telescopes, binoculars, camera lenses, or other magnifying/optical devices over your eclipse glasses.* The concentrated solar rays can damage the solar filter on the glasses and enter your eye, causing causing serious injury.
*For tips on using solar filters with optics, see Solar Filters for Optics: Telescopes, Binoculars & Cameras.
Related: Complete WLTX Eclipse Coverage
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