Glasses used to safely watch the solar eclipse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA/WCBD) – People in the Upstate can’t stop talking about the total solar eclipse happening on August 21.

It’s natural to want to look to the sky and watch this rare phenomenon but medical experts want to make sure people do so safely.
Some parts of South Carolina are in the direct path of totality, meaning people will be able to see the moon cover the sun with their bare eyes for just a few a minutes.

It’s important to protect your eyesight in the minutes leading up to and directly after those moments of totality.

There are safety glasses made to watch the eclipse that are certified to block 99.9999 % of sunlight.

Grant Brown, a master optician at the Greenville Health System Eye Institute, says staring directly at the sun with your bare eyes even for just a few seconds could cause serious damage.

“With these (glasses) you’ll be able to see the progress across in the minutes right up to the total eclipse and the minutes right after the total eclipse safely. That’s the key to it,” Brown told 7News. “If you’re in Spartanburg, some of the surrounding areas, you will never get to that total and you’ll want to watch the whole thing through these filters. It only takes one or 2 percent of the sun to really cause some damage.”

Families planning to watch the eclipse with children need to keep their age in mind.

Brown says parents need to be sure they can trust children not to take off their safety glasses unless parents tell them to.

“It’s a trust thing, It doesn’t take much. It’s going to look strange. It’s going to look very interesting and it’s not going to hurt, so monitoring children is going to be a major thing,” Brown said. “Rehearse ahead of time: how to put them on, how to take them off. Do not take them off to compare the two.”

You can get your free solar viewing  glasses from libraries here in the Lowcountry. They’re available through the Charleston County Public Library, Berkeley County Library, Joint Base Charleston Library, Dorchester County Library, and Georgetown County Libraries. It is advised that you call your local library branch to make sure there are glasses available before attempting to pick them up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s