Solar Eclipse Eye Warning

The excitement over the total solar eclipse (when the moon blocks the sun) is in the air. I don’t remember ever seeing one in my lifetime. As you’ve probably heard, the potential dangers to your eyes are real. When I told my 6 year-old daughter about the real risk (trying to instill in her the importance of not “peeking” while wearing her glasses), she started crying, “I don’t want to go blind.” Turns out, I may have overdone it a little. But there is truth to my warnings. Staring directly at the sun can cause damage to the retina and even blindness, called solar retinopathy.

Only those in the “path of totality” (the 70-mile-wide stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina) will see the total eclipse. In those couple of minutes of complete coverage it is okay to look without protective eyewear. In a place like Utah, where we’ll have about 91% coverage, there is NO safe time to look at the eclipse without protective eyewear.

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