The total solar eclipse is going to be a BIG DEAL that millions of people will watch – and for good reason! It’s going to be a once in a lifetime event, especially if you already live in the path of totality, but you HAVE to pay attention to safety.
You need to make sure you take ALL precautions to protect your eyes during this event. Don’t take shortcuts on eclipse glasses, and by all means, do not look through a telescope or camera at the sun! Sunglasses, even dark ones, are NOT SAFE to use to look at the sun during the eclipse. Excessive light will still enter your eyes and cause damage. Do you have eclipse glasses already? Make sure they are certified with ISO 12312-2 standards. It should be printed on the glasses. When you put them on without looking at the sun, you should see NOTHING – just BLACK. If you see ANY light through the eclipse glasses in any circumstance besides the sun, they are NOT safe to wear during the eclipse, and you’ll need to get some different glasses or make a pinhole projection viewer or card.
Of course, during the event even with proper eclipse glasses, you’ll need to put them on BEFORE you look at the sun and look AWAY from the sun before you take them off again. Remember that a telescope and camera will focus that sunlight, so do not look through either of these while wearing your eclipse glasses. Telescopes and cameras have to be fitted with a proper filter for safe viewing, and you should consult a professional astronomer or photographer if you have any intention or desire to do this. We want you to enjoy this cool event, and to walk away with the eyesight you had before you saw it!