We are less than 6 months away from the eclipse, so I thought that this was as good a time as any to review eye safety details with you.
Here is the most important thing to remember from this post: anytime the sun is not covered at all, or partially covered (even including 99%!) you MUST use proper methods AND proper materials to PROTECT your eyes. However, if you are in this path of totality:http://xjubier.free.fr/tse2017map
then DURING THE TOTAL PHASE ONLY, WHEN THE SUN IS COMPLETELY BLOCKED, it is COMPLETELY SAFE to look at the sun directly without any protection. If you try to use eye safety protection during totality, you'll miss the best part!
When the sun returns, you MUST go back to the proper eye safety methods and materials.
So, how do you keep your eyes safe before and after the eclipse, as well as during the partial eclipse (or partial phases before and after totality)?
Well, I'll just let eclipse chasers who are more experienced at this tell you:
https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety (credit American Astronomical Society)
http://www.eclipse2017.org/eclipse2017_eye%20safety.htm (credit Dan McGlaun)
http://americaneclipseusa.com/see-the-2017-eclipse/safe-viewing (credit Jay Ryan)
http://www.celestron.com/2017-eclipse-watch#entered (see podcast #11 for eye safety tips)
Safe viewing products
(this is not necessarily an endorsement- but all of the people/company that run these sites are experienced in eclipses):
https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/eclipse-viewing/ (credit Michael Zeiler)
Also do note that you can get a #14 welder's filter- make sure it is glass or polycarbonate WITH gold coating; the polycarbonate ones WITHOUT gold coating may not be safe.
Make sure you study these links, and make sure you obtain and know how to use this eye safety equipment- keep your eyes safe.
The above assumes that you are using just your eyes. You can certainly view the eclipse with magnified instruments- binoculars, telescopes, etc.- but the same rules apply- USE PROPER PROTECTION DURING THE PARTIAL PHASES (including 99%; before and after totality); NO PROTECTION IS NEEDED DURING TOTALITY.
If you plan to view the eclipse with magnified viewing, please comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – there are some extra tips I would like to give.
As a final note- make sure that you are paying attention to the other changes that are happening around you as the eclipse deepens!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or email me at email@example.com
Happy (and safe!) eclipse viewing!