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The next solar eclipse will cross North America on April 8, 2024. A solar eclipse happens when the moon blocks the sun from our view. This process unfolds over a couple of hours. Watching a solar eclipse is a memorable experience, but you must do it safely to prevent serious eye injury or even blindness. Looking at the sun without a solar filter, whether through a camera lens or with your bare eyes, can severely damage your eyes and cause vision loss.

Safe ways to watch the eclipse

  1. Wear eclipse glasses with certified solar filters

Sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not enough to protect your vision if you look at the sun. Homemade filters are also a bad idea and will not protect your eyes.

Plan ahead and obtain eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. These products contain a solar filter that must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2. This filter is the only way to truly protect your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays.

The American Astronomical Society has a list of companies that supply eclipse glasses and solar viewers

  1. Make a pinhole viewer to watch the eclipse indirectly

A safer and easier way to see the eclipse is through a pinhole projection or video display.

pinhole viewer lets you project an image of the sun onto another surface, like paper, a wall or pavement. The image of the sun is safe to look at throughout the eclipse.

  1. View a live stream of the eclipse

NASA will have a live stream of the solar eclipse.

For more information about eye health, visit the Academy’s EyeSmart website, www.eyesmart.org.