The Danger Of Homemade Solar Filters
The internet offers a lot of very good information, including some very helpful sites to inform the public about where and how to see the 2017 solar eclipse. Unfortunately, there are also some sites that provide misinformation, and relying on these sites to construct homemade types of solar filters may potentially pose real risks to the eyesight, particularly for children.
The Common Misinformation
Some of the most common misinformation out there includes statements that indicate that specific types of items can be used to effectively watch the total solar eclipse and not pose any risk to eyesight.
Some of the biggest myths include the use of several pairs of sunglasses or the use of polarized glasses. These do not protect your eyes from the harmful and sudden light that will happen when the moon moves away from the sun and the light is suddenly and fully visible.
Smoked glass and welders glasses that are less than a #14 welder’s glass are also not able to provide the protection your eyes require. Additionally, even the #14 welder’s glass can be difficult for children to hold, and they will be more tempted to peek around the corner of the glass during the eclipse, resulting in sudden exposure.
Other types of myths such as using camera lenses with filters or even using compact discs or candy wrappers are simply incorrect and very dangerous.
The Safe Options
It is possible to buy solar filters that are used in telescopes. This can be very costly, and there will be a minimum purchase required. It is also possible to make a viewer using a pinhole in paper that creates a projection of the light of the sun. These can be very challenging for children to use, and all you are seeing is an image, and you are actually facing away from the eclipse.
The simplest and lowest cost option is to purchase solar filters in the form of eclipse glasses. These are very lightweight and can be made of stiff cardboard or plastic frames, with specialized polymer lenses. These lenses will filter out 100% of the UV and infrared rays and also 99.999% of the very damaging intense visible light.
At just a few dollars each, or even a lower price per unit if purchased in larger quantities, these glasses are great for kids and adults. They look like 3D glasses, but more stylish, and they are sure to be a hit with everyone, providing a safe way to look at this eclipse and any other eclipse in the future.