Safe Viewing of the Upcoming Solar Eclipse asked Dr. Brett Neal of the Neal Eye Group in Conshohocken to provide details on how to safely view the upcoming solar eclipse. The eclipse will occur on August 21st.

From Dr. Neal:

A solar eclipse is a rare and exciting astronomical event, but safe viewing of the eclipse is paramount as staring directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to the back of the eye (solar retinopathy) within just a few seconds. Conshohocken is not in the path of totality so there will be no time where it is safe to view the eclipse without special protection.

To safely view the eclipse outdoors you must wear certified solar filters (aka eclipse glasses) that meet ISO standard 12312-2. Here is a link to reputable vendors of eclipse glasses from the American Astronomical Society. It is important to note that regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are absolutely NOT safe to use for viewing the eclipse.

Very little can be seen through the solar filters during the darkest moments of the eclipse and many people are likely to want to peek around the glasses and see what they are missing. Remember that even a few seconds of exposure from staring at the sun without the special glasses can lead to a lifetime of permanent, uncorrectable vision loss. Parents should take care to provide close supervision if observing the eclipse outdoors to prevent children from removing the solar filters. As for me, I will be taking the safest route possible for viewing the eclipse….I will be watching it live on the internet.

In the Conshohocken area the eclipse will peak at 2:43:52 p.m. when the moon will obscure 75.2% of the sun.

Dr. Neal is happy to answer any questions readers may have. You can comment here or on Facebook and he will respond.