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home : current news : current news August 18, 2017

8/8/2017 11:33:00 AM
Protect your eyes during solar eclipse - Corrected

Editor's note: The Nugget's story in the August 9 edition regarding eye protection during the eclipse incorrectly stated that Sisters is not in the path of totality. The following has been edited to correct that information.

Once the preparations for heavy traffic and a massive influx of visitors have been taken care of, folks in Sisters will be turning their eyes to the sky to take in the total solar eclipse that is set for Monday morning, August 21.

Safety should be the top priority while viewing the eclipse.

Sisters is at the southern edge of the "path of totality," so the eclipse will be complete for about 34 seconds. That is the only point during this eclipse event at which it's safe to look at the sun with the naked eye. Safety glasses are a must during all partial phases of the eclipse.

According to NASA, "The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as 'eclipse glasses' or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight."

Several shops in Sisters are carrying eclipse glasses. To make sure what you have is safe, verify that the glasses are certified compliant to the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.

NASA offers the following safety tips:

• Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

• Always supervise children using solar filters.

• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the sun.

• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

• Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer - the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.

• Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection.

For example, NASA recommends, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands' shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Article comment by: Julia Huni

Sisters is not in the path of totality? Cite your sources, please. According to EVERY map/web page/authority I've seen, including maps on NASA's web pages, the edge of the totality runs south of Sisters, giving us about 30 seconds of total solar eclipse.

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