Solar Eclipse FAQs
What is a Solar Eclipse?
"This animated GIF shows the Moon’s shadow arcing across the Pacific, then traversing North America, and ending at sunset not far from Spain. The very longest duration will be near Torreon, Mexico at 4 minutes and 27 seconds.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon cast its shadow on the Earth as it passes between the Earth and the Sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon appears to totally obscure the Sun. On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will trace a narrow path of totality across the Shores & Islands Ohio region.
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How to Safely View the Eclipse?
Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during a brief moment of "totality" during a solar eclipse. During a partial solar eclipse, it is unsafe to look at the sun unless you are using approved safety glasses or filters.
To view a solar eclipse safely, you must follow these simple rules:
- Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
- Always supervise children using solar filters.
- If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
- Do not look at the uneclipsed, partially eclipsed, or annularly eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
- Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
- Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
- If you are inside the path of totality on April 8, 2024, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases. Note that this applies only to viewing without optical aid (other than ordinary eyeglasses). Different rules apply when viewing or imaging the Sun through camera lenses, binoculars, or telescopes; consult an expert astronomer before using a solar filter with any type of magnifying optics.
- Outside the path of totality, and throughout a partial or annular solar eclipse, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the Sun directly.