On Aug. 21 millions of people will look skyward as day turns into night when the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in almost a century passes over Middle Tennessee.
Eclipse watchers in the 60- to 70-mile-wide "path of totality" that will cut through much of the middle USA could briefly look directly at the eclipse without protection when the moon fully covers the sun. Partial eclipses happen a couple of times per year around the globe, but full solar eclipses are rarer.
This is a time-lapse sequence of the total solar eclipse of March 2016 as viewed from a cruise ship off Indonesia.
"It's so risky for people to look at the sun even for brief periods of time because you can cause permanent damage to the retina - we call it solar retinopathy and it's really very close to burning a hole in the retina", said Van Gelder.
That's when Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski took the first photograph of a total solar eclipse.
Glasses for watching the August 21 solar eclipse are a hot commodity in northeast Kansas.
More safety tips can be found at aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/solar-eclipse-eye-safety.
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Real solar eclipse glasses have specially designed filters that keep your eyes protected.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that cheap sunglasses can be worse than nothing at all, as they may encourage you to look directly into the sun. However, in Madison - where a maximum of 85 percent of the sun will be blocked by the moon at about 1:15 p.m. - that won't be an option.
National parks and heritage sites offer an unbelievable setting for watching the eclipse.
Here in the Adirondacks, the eclipse will be around 62 percent, creating a crescent sun.
Unlike places like Hopkinsville, which will experience a total eclipse, areas like Evansville will only see a partial eclipse. But, it's significantly more noticeable during a total solar eclipse and astronomers from NASA documented this drop from a total solar eclipse that occurred in Lusaka, Zambia, in 2001. "We call it solar retinopathy and it's really very close to burning a hole in the retina", says Dr.
He says this time around, he'll watch the eclipse on TV.
But before you grab the first pair of "eclipse glasses" you find online, eye professionals are warning you to be careful of unapproved, or even discount/counterfeit glasses that might not provide any protection at all. Amazon still has glasses available through third-party retailers - but there's a catch.
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