On Monday, August 21, 2017, many people in North America will be able to see a very rare occurrence – a total eclipse of the sun. You’ll likely want to see the solar eclipse yourself, but viewing a solar eclipse without wearing special solar eclipse glasses can be harmful to your eyes. Keep reading, and we will show you how you can get your own free pair of solar eclipse glasses so you can safely watch and enjoy this rare phenomenon.
A solar eclipse is when the path of the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and blocks out all or part of the sun for a period of time. A total eclipse, such as the one we will see in August, is one where the moon fully covers the sun, and where the sun’s atmosphere, the solar corona, can be seen peeking out from behind the moon. Everyone on the North American continent will be able to view this eclipse (weather permitting, of course).
Solar eclipses are rare. The last time the contiguous United States experienced an eclipse of the sun was in February 1979, more than 38 years ago. After the eclipse this coming August 21st, the next time the contiguous United States will be able to see an annular solar eclipse, or an eclipse where the moon covers only part of the sun’s center, will be on October 14, 2023. The next total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States like the one we will see on August 21st won’t occur again until April 8, 2024.
The total eclipse will occur about halfway through this event, and anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina should be able to see it. It should last approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Day will turn to night, and bright stars and planets will become visible in the daytime sky.
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of the solar eclipse (known as “totality”). This is when the moon entirely blocks out the sun’s bright face. Even then, it is still not safe to look directly at the sun because the sun can peek out from behind the moon before you have a chance to look away, exposing your eyes to power that can damage your retinas. The ONLY safe way to look directly at sun during a solar eclipse is through special-purpose solar filters, such as solar eclipse glasses or hand held solar viewers.
There are only a handful of manufacturers who make solar eclipse glasses that are certified to meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products. Dr. Barry Leonard is giving away free pairs of solar eclipse glasses that meet these standards so that you can view this rare phenomenon safely and protect your eyes while doing so.
To claim your free pair of solar eclipse glasses, contact Dr. Leonard’s office at (818) 891-6711 or drop by the office at 14425 Chase Street in Panorama City. Mention this article and they’ll hand you your free solar eclipse glasses. And while you’re here, go ahead and schedule an eye exam!