How to see the eclipse without going blind

Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 20:49:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- An eclipse is a weird event. It’s visual, but you’re not supposed to look at it.

The Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah decided to step in and address that contradiction with advice for safe viewing on August 21, when much of the country experiences a total solar eclipse.

Ophthalmologist Jeff Pettey says the the lens of the eye focuses the sun's rays like a magnifying glass, burning a sharp point at the center of the viewing receptors in the eye.

"The safest advice is don't look at the sun and don't look at the eclipse at all unless you have solar glasses," Pettey said.

Solar glasses should be certified with the symbol "ISO," meaning they are approved to block out all but one millionth of the light rays coming toward them.

Pettey also says those without glasses can use a tree to experience the eclipse.

"If you find a tree that lets in some light, you'll look down and you'll have hundreds of little eclipses on the ground," he said.

Utah will experience a partial eclipse. The path of the total eclipse is about 70 miles wide and stretches in an arc from Oregon to South Carolina.

If you'd like more information, NASA has prepared an excellent website. Fox 13 will also be providing extensive coverage before during and after the eclipse from Idaho Falls.