Planning to view the solar eclipse in April? Skywatchers urged to snag viewing glasses before they sell out.
Skywatchers will need special glasses to safely view the April 2024 solar eclipse. (Staten Island Advance/ Jan Somma-Hammel)Staff-Shot
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — You won’t want to miss the total solar eclipse that will pass over North America next April — and you’ll need special gear to safely view it.
It will be a must-see celestial event when, on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse passes over Mexico, the United States and Canada, according to NASA. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. During this time, the sky will darken, as if it were dawn or dusk.
But you are going to want to make sure you have the proper glasses to protect your eyes.
The Farmers’ Almanac is offering solar eclipse glasses that are CE and ISO certified — which means you can view the eclipse and other solar phenomena without worrying about hurting your eyes. The lightweight glasses protect you from harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays.
They are recommended by the American Astronomical Society and NASA, according to the Almanac.
Sold in four-packs, the Farmers’ Almanac warned that the solar eclipse glasses are likely to sell out and urged consumers to place their order now. They are priced at $8.99, and can be ordered at store.farmersalmanac.com.
Without proper eye protection, you can suffer “eclipse blindness” — a serious injury in which the eye’s retina is damaged by solar radiation, according to the American Optometric Association. While most victims are only blinded temporarily, other cases can cause permanent loss of vision.
Specially designed to filter out damaging sun rays, eclipse glasses are crucial.
Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse — when the moon completely blocks the sun’s face — it’s not safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection. Looking at any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury, NASA warned.
When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with your eyes, which happens before and after totality, you should use safe solar viewing glasses, or eclipse glasses, or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. Eclipse glasses are not regular sunglasses, as regular sunglasses aren’t safe for viewing the sun.
After the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the next one can be seen from the contiguous United States on Aug. 23, 2044.
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