An eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured, by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer. This alignment of three celestial objects is known as a 'syzygy'. Termed as an ‘eclipse’ by scientists, the term is also used when a spacecraft reaches a position where it can observe two celestial bodies aligned. Recently, the year 2019 witnessed its last solar eclipse on December 26 at 9.34 am. Since ages, there have been some superstitious beliefs associated with solar eclipses across different cultures. Here is a list of few do’s and don'ts viewers need to follow to avoid any health hazard during a solar eclipse.
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National Astronomical Space Administration or commonly known as NASA recently outlined the dos and don’ts of watching a solar eclipse safely:
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Tips to watch a solar eclipse safely
- Do not look directly at the sun.
- Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses, as it would transmit far too much sunlight that could damage the eyes.
- Use special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, to view the eclipse.
- Scientists also caution against other methods of looking at the solar eclipse through a telescope on binoculars, at the concentrated sun-rays would harm your eyes.
- Don’t watch the eclipse while driving. According to AAA, drivers should drive with your headlight on and safely park your cars before gazing at the solar eclipse.
- Inspect your solar filter before gazing at solar eclipse; if it is scratched or damaged, discard the filter.
- Pinhole projection is a safe way to view the sun in an indirect fashion.
- If you wear glasses in your day-to-day, do not take them off. Wear the solar eclipse glasses over them.
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