The first total solar eclipse since 1979 will be seen across America on August 21, 2017. Paducah is on the path of totality and thousands will be viewing the rare phenomenon where the moon overlaps the sun revealing a sky filled with stars and planets for approximately two minutes. Nasa calls the event “one of nature’s most awesome sights.”
The Bryant Law Center encourages you to be safe while viewing the total solar eclipse with recommendations from NASA. Keep your eyes safe by wearing solar filter glasses also called “eclipse glasses.”
It is never safe to look directly at the sun, but according to NASA, regular sunglasses will not be effective enough to protect your eyes during the solar eclipse. Look for the ISO 12312-2 safety standard when purchasing eclipse glasses. This is NASA’s recommended certification to ensure your glasses will properly protect your eyes. The American Astronomical Society recommends the following companies for solar eclipse glasses:
•Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)* [see note]
•Solar Eclipse International / Cangnan County Qiwei Craft Co.* (plastic glasses only)
Visit elipse.aas.org for a full list of recommended eclipse glasses from the American Astronomical Society.
When to Wear Eclipse Glasses
Wear the glasses directly before and after the period of totality. According to NASA, before the moon completely covers the sun, the sun will form several bright beams of light around the edges of the moon. This is called Baily’s Beads. As the moon continues to move, the beams of light will create a diamond-like ring in front of the sun. Keep your glasses on at this time. Once the bright spot vanishes and the moon is completely covering the sun, you can remove your glasses. In Paducah, KY, this period will last about 2 minutes. After the moon moves from the stage of totality, immediately put your glasses back on.
Additional Safety Tips from NASA
- Make sure the solar filters on your glasses are not scratched or damaged. If so, do not use.
- Supervise children and make sure they are properly wearing their eclipse glasses
- Do not look at the solar eclipse before or after totality with an unfiltered camera, telescope, or binoculars.
- Do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, or binoculars while wearing your eclipse glasses. This will cause solar rays to damage the solar filters and may seriously injure your eyes.
For a list of places to watch the solar eclipse in Paducah, visit the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau.