A Guide to Safely Viewing the Upcoming Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will be observable across almost all of North America. Each of the 50 U.S. states, with the exception of most of Alaska, will witness at least a partial solar eclipse. Similarly, the majority of Canada, all of Mexico, and every nation in Central America will also experience this celestial event. Those positioned within an approximately 115-mile-wide path spanning from Texas through Maine, across sections of Eastern Canada, will be treated to the extraordinary spectacle of a total solar eclipse, widely regarded as one of nature’s most magnificent displays.

With the solar eclipse quickly approaching, ensuring safe viewing practices is critical. NASA states that with the exception of the short total phase during a total solar eclipse, when the Moon entirely obscures the Sun’s radiant face, it is unsafe to directly observe the Sun without appropriate eye protection designed for solar viewing.

Here are some tips on how to safely view the eclipse:

  1. Eye Protection: Use certified solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers to protect eyes from harmful radiation. (Meet ISO 12312-2 international standards for products).
  2. Filtered Equipment: Ensure telescopes and binoculars have solar filters to prevent eye damage.
  3. Pinhole Projectors: Encourage the use of pinhole projectors as a safe viewing alternative.
  4. Supervision: Assign trained staff to oversee eclipse viewing activities and enforce safety measures.
  5. Weather Monitoring: Stay informed about weather conditions and have indoor viewing options ready in case of poor weather.

A solar eclipse offers a memorable learning experience, but safety should always come first. By following these guidelines, you can make the most of this celestial spectacle while ensuring the well-being of yourself and other participants.