|Photo by: Takeshi Kuboki / Flickr|
Known as the "Great American Eclipse," the total solar eclipse will pass through 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21. Mainland USA has not yet experienced a celestial event this size since 1979.
The events' rarity is an indication that majority of people are not aware of its possible risks, yet all will be clear with the help of NASA and other related parties.
To watch an eclipse can be a mesmerizing and unforgettable sight, yet these events can lead to permanent eye damage with the absence of proper safety exercises. In line with this upcoming event, NASA has provided would-be viewers with a set of safety reminders.
Alex Young, associate director for science of the Heliophysics Science Division, Goddard Space Flight Center, emphasizes that individuals must shoulder the responsibility of checking if they have the proper solar eclipse viewing glasses.
Newsweek states that the use of special solar filters enables viewers to have a safe way to look directly at the sun, while NASA's guidelines recommend that viewers should only use glasses or viewers that contain a certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard and the manufacturer's name and address.
People must also see that their glasses or viewers are not older than three years and do not feature scratched or wrinkled lenses, while NASA opposes the use of homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses.
Alan MacRobert, senior editor, Sky & Telescope magazine, cautions that staring at the sun is like using a magnifying glass to set ablaze a paper.
The American Academy of Ophthalmologists warns that to watch an eclipse without the right protective gear can lead to solar retinopathy, an injury to retinal tissues that can result to impaired vision. In some cases, it can cause permanent damage.