EclipseGeeks - Solar Eclipses and Lunar Eclipses


All you ever wanted to know about eclipses and other celstial bodies

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Tips on observing solar eclipses

How to stay safe viewing a Solar Eclipse


Eye Safety and General Advice viewing an Eclipse of the Sun



Pinhole-Camera (home made) for obsering a Total Solar Eclipse


One safe way of enjoying the Sun during a solar eclipse is using a home-made solar "pinhole camera" which projects an image of the Sun onto another piece of white paper.


A pin-hole camera can be made out of two thin, stiff pieces of white cardboard.  Punch a small clean pinhole in one piece of cardboard and let the sunlight pass through the hole onto the second piece of cardboard held below it, which serves as a screen. An inverted image of the Sun is formed.


To make the image larger, move the screen further from the pinhole, to make the image brighter, move the screen closer to the pinhole.  Do not make the pinhole too wide or you will have a blurred shaft of sunlight rather than an image of the Sun. Use these instruments with your back to the Sun.


Permanent damage to the retina can be caused without pain and visual symptoms can be delayed for several hours before anything wrong is noticed. The only time a Solar Eclipse can be viewed is during the brief few seconds, or minutes, of a Total Solar Eclipse during the totality phase when the corona of the Sun can be viewed directly.


Be safe and enjoy Solar Eclipses.


No matter how tempting it may be;

never look directly at the Sun at any time.


Solar Eclipse Glasses: You need special solar eclipse glasses to observe a solar eclipse, but only use them to view the Sun directly, do not use them with a telescope, binoculars, or a camera. There are special solar eclipse lenses fit over or screw into the end of the telescopes.


NASA recommends welder's glasses rated 14 or higher. 

Important notes:

1: Different countries have different ratings, so cross-reference ratings.

2: Different countries have different recommendations, and advise not to use welder’s glasses and use specially made eclipse glasses.


Take care if making solar observations;

follow all solar observing protocols.


The Sun is extremely intense and powerful and even the slightest amount of direct sunlight can cause serious problems to the eyes.


Looking directly at the sun can result in serious eye damage or even blindness.


The absence of pain or discomfort while looking at solar eclipses does not mean damage to the eyes will not occur.


The only time a Solar Eclipse can be viewed is during the brief few seconds, or minutes, of the Total phase when the corona of the Sun becomes visible. Be safe and enjoy Solar Eclipses.


Solar Filters for Telescopes: A solar-filter fits over the lens end of a telescope or camera.


Metal Coated Filters:

Some telescope and camera companies manufacture metal-coated filters that are safe for viewing the Sun. These are more expensive than other types of filter but observers generally like them better because they are available in various colours, such as a chromium filter through which the Sun looks orange.  Looking through other types of common filter the Sun looks grey, so it is worthwhile paying the extra money to see an orange Sun.  


Warning:- A Telescope Solar Eye Piece is not the same as a solar-filter.  


Some telescopes come with a Solar Eye Piece, these are not the same as a solar-filter, a solar-filter fits over the lens of a telescope or camera. Solar eye pieces are unsafe and should not be relied upon.

Eye Safety and General Advice on viewing an Eclipse of the Sun


Telescopes and cameras safety when looking at or

photographing a solar eclipse.  


Safe solar filters for cameras and telescopes are available as either "Off-Axis and Full-Aperture" filters. Both of types of these filters fit over the objective (front end of the telescope) or camera lens.


Full-aperture solar filters are the preferred filter of choice. The reason is that the solar-filter completely covers the front of the telescope so that the entire mirror or lens is safely covered. Have this is place during the  partial solar eclipse phase, then at totality you can safely remove the solar-filter to capture the Total Solar Eclipse.  At the beginning of totality you can remove the solar-filter, there is no need to refocus the camera or telescope, and you can enjoy looking at the awesomeness of either a Total or partial solar eclipse.  But you must place the solar-filter lens back in place at the front end of the telescope before the end of totality, otherwise you are putting your eyes at risk of damage.


Solar Ecclipse Sunglasses

Eye Safety Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

Perhaps the easiest way of looking at a Solar Eclipse, whether it be a partial solar eclipse or a magnificent Total Solar Eclipse, is to buy solar eclipse sunglasses, or as some say, solar eclipse shades.


image source and credit to:


Click to enlarge: Eclipse safety glasses as worn by cute dog and girl:

cute-dog-wearing-solar-galasses-eclipse-geeks looking-through-solar-eclipse-safety-glasses-EclipseGeeks


Copyright and image credit: Kevin Hale. Flickr: roundedbygravity

(Title of image by Kevin Hale; View through Eclipse Shades)


click image to enlarge)

The image to the right is by Kevin Hale. It is a perfect example of how the Sun appears when looking through Solar Eclipse glasses or shades.


It is vitally important to protect your eyes when looking at the Sun. You must use eye protection.


The only time you can look at the Sun during a solar eclipse is when the Moon completely covers the Sun at totality – during the Total Eclipse phase.  

Eye Safety when viewing a Solar Eclipse 

Permanent damage to the retina

Stay safe when viewing a solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse Eye Safety Code

General all round advice on solar eclipse observing.


First thing: never look directly at the Sun without eye protection.  


Most people have never seen a Total Solar Eclipse, actually watching it live under the path of totality, and therefore it is not easy to set up a camera and telescope along with using a solar-filter. So if you want to do that, then that is of course fine, but please follow all safety protocols.  


Some people are experienced eclipser’s and have seen solar eclipse before, but not all are experienced at photography or using telescopes to observe and capture the event. So if you are one of these and inexperienced at solar photography, if you are not sure what to do, seek advice and ask at your local photography club, or seek out and ask a seasoned solar photographer. Don’t take any chances with your health; your eyes are more important than some stunning photo you might take, but might not ever see.


Many people prefer to use solar eclipse shades so that they can enjoy the event without having to worry about telescope and photographic equipment. Remember that even when the Sun is 99% obscured by the Moon, the sun is powerful and it can damage your eyes, so despite the temptation, never look directly at the Sun without the correct eye protection.




Be safe and enjoy Solar Eclipses.




Never look directly at the Sun during a Solar Eclipse,

or at any other time.


Never look directly at the Sun during a Solar Eclipse. Even at 99% obscurity, the Sun is powerful enough to damage the retina of your eyes.

The only time a Solar eclipse can be directly viewed is during totality.

Follow all Solar Observing Protocols


Take Care of your Eyes  the Sun is Powerful


Unsafe materials and items: Do not use:


Colour film

Medical X-ray film.

Smoked glass.