TODAY advises what not to do during the eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in totality within a band across the entire contiguous United States; it will only be visible in other countries as a partial eclipse.

  • Starts: Oregon · 8:46 AM PT
  • Ends: South Carolina · 5:04 PM ET

Here are the main don’ts during an eclipse:

  • Do not use “do it yourself” methods to view the eclipse. We’ll all be tempted to gaze up at the sky, but many people don’t realize they can get hurt by staring directly at the sun without the proper protection, said Dr. Russell N. Van Gelder, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.“The danger is real for permanent vision loss,” Van Gelder, a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told TODAY. The damage is known as solar retinopathy. That can include blind spots, distortions or loss of contrast in your central vision, which is what you use to read, drive and work on the computer.There have been reports of people becoming legally blind in at least one eye after watching eclipses, Van Gelder said. You must look for glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard. NASA has released a chart of when to wear your ISO approved glasses.
  • Don’t put on eclipse glasses and look thru binoculars. Solar filters must be attached to the front of binoculars, telescope, and camera.  Solar rays will burn right thru the lens and damage your retinas.
  • Don’t focus your energy on just taking pictures. Professionals have special equipment to avoid any damages.  Do not take pictures with smartphones.  The results will not be the same and you risks hurting your eyes.  Photos should be taken only with a tripod.
  • Don’t focus on the sky. Psychologist Kate Russo travels the world studying the effects of humans and eclipses.  Russo told TODAY, “It makes you feel so alive and in awe of the world around us, giving you a private moment with the universe.” Enjoy your surroundings and what nature is doing around you during the eclipse. Listen to the sounds of wildlife, feel the temperature, etc.

The total solar eclipse is an experience you will never forget.  Be safe and thankful for being alive to enjoy what nature has to offer you.

Photo courtesy of AFP-Getty images. Video courtesy of YouTube.


  1. darlene p vernon August 21, 2017
  2. Dennis Durham August 19, 2017

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