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Solar Eclipse - April 8

Solar Eclipse - April 8

Solar Eclipse Safety (April 8th between 2:04 p.m. and 4:31 p.m., peaking at 3:19)

The following text was taken from the website of the Canadian Association of Optometrists.

A total eclipse is set to occur on April 8, 2024, spanning from Southern Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador, with the rest of Canada experiencing a partial eclipse. While these events are awe-inspiring, they also pose potential risks to eyesight if proper precautions are not taken. During a solar eclipse, the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, partially or completely blocking the Sun's rays. The danger lies in the fact that even during a partial eclipse, the Sun's intense radiation can cause severe damage to the eyes. Looking at the Sun directly during an eclipse can lead to solar retinopathy, permanently damaging the retina's light-sensitive cells.  

Even a brief look at the partly eclipsed Sun can result in harm to the eyes. Children may need extra supervision during eclipses as they may not fully comprehend the risks involved, so parents are encouraged to educate their children about eye safety and provide proper filters or alternative safe viewing methods.

Here are some tips that will help you enjoy watching an eclipse safely:

  1. Safety Focus: Ensure your eyes are protected at all times by using solar eclipse viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Make sure that the glasses are not damaged or scratched before use. Sunglasses, even those with a very dark tint are not sufficient protection.
  2. Don’t Get Burned! Staring at the Sun without protection, may cause damage to your retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) called “solar retinopathy.” This damage can occur without any sensation of pain. The injury can be temporary or permanent. Visit your local doctor of optometry immediately if an accident occurs.
  3. Go Indirect – Project: If you can't find eclipse viewers, make a pinhole projector to watch the eclipse. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole.
  4. Watch Online: Check out the NASA/Exploratorium livestream
  5. Check It Out: If you experience any problems with your eyes or vision after the eclipse, visit your optometrist promptly.

Note: The City of Toronto advises that the eclipse will occur between 2:04 p.m. and 4:31 p.m., with the peak happening at 3:19 p.m. Since this occurs when many people are returning home from school or work, it is important to plan ahead and take precautions.

Stay safe.