Skip to main content

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Today's Message

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Totality Tuesday: Eye Safety during a Solar Eclipse

Last week’s Totality Tuesday focused on the eclipse experience. This week, we are focusing on eye safety. There’s an easy rule that we follow every day. Don’t look at the Sun without proper eye protection!

During a solar eclipse, looking at the Sun isn’t any more dangerous than on any other day. The danger is that people know an eclipse is happening and might try to view it without proper protection. We therefore want to make sure that everyone has proper eye protection for April 8. For most of us, that eye protection will be eclipse glasses or eclipse viewers. Anyone using a telescope or binoculars also needs to use the correct solar filters or they will literally burn their eyes. Think about using a magnifying glass to focus the Sun’s light and burning a piece of paper. The same thing would happen to your eye with binoculars or a telescope without proper filters.

Eclipse glasses and other filters are necessary because of the Sun’s brightness and because of ultraviolet radiation. Sunglasses are not dark enough, even if you stack up two or more of them! Other material like Mylar balloons or exposed film is also not safe. Welder’s glass is safe, but only for number 14 glass and darker.

Before using them, make sure that your eclipse glasses aren’t wrinkled or punctured.

For younger kids who might not keep the glasses on their face, an activity using a paper plate to make it harder to look at the Sun can be found online.

Next week, we will discuss other safe ways to view a solar eclipse without looking toward the Sun.

Question of the Week:  Where can I get eclipse glasses?

Answer: Thanks in part to our Eclipse Fest sponsor Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium and Buffalo State University will be providing eclipse glasses to all Buffalo State students, faculty, and staff. We will also be selling Buffalo-branded pairs starting in early March. Visit the Buffalo State Eclipse website for more information.

Question of the Week 2: Are my eclipse glasses from 2017 still good?

Answer: Yes. As long as they are not wrinkled or punctured, they are still good.

For information about Buffalo State’s eclipse events, visit the Buffalo State Eclipse website. Questions? Email

Submitted by: Kevin K. Williams