By now, you’ve heard that a swath of the nation will experience a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon next Monday: a total solar eclipse. For viewers in the path of totality — from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina — the moon will completely cover the sun, making the sun’s violent atmosphere visible for a short time. Outside the path of totality, observers will still see a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers a part of the sun.
To see when the partial eclipse will be most visible where you are, visit NASA’s interactive map.
Remember that looking directly at the sun without eye protection or taking proper precautions is unsafe even during a partial eclipse. Here are a few suggestions from NASA for viewing the eclipse safely.
Use Safety Glasses
The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose eclipse glasses or a hand-held solar viewer. Make sure eclipse glasses are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Wear your eclipse glasses on top of your normal glasses.
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through ordinary sunglasses, an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical devices. What’s more, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses.
Cover, Then Look
Before you look at the sun, cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your glasses. Do not put on your glasses or take them off while looking at the sun.
Protect Little Eyes
The eclipse is an exciting event especially for young ones. If you’re with children, supervise them closely so they don’t damage their eyes.
For more safety tips and information about Monday’s solar eclipse, visit Eclipse 101 on the NASA website. If you’d rather watch the eclipse from the comfort of home, NASA will livestream the eclipse as part of an Eclipse Megacast.