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If you plan on viewing a solar eclipse, make sure to protect your eyes.
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The Right Way to View a Solar Eclipse

Everyone should see at least one solar eclipse. They don't occur very often. Those that get a chance to see one should take advantage. However, you must make sure to protect your eyes. If viewed improperly, the Sun can permanently damage them. There are many safe and reliable ways to view a solar eclipse.

One way of viewing an eclipse is using a projection. This can be done a number of ways. A telescope can be lined up to face the Sun. Hold a piece of dark paper with a hole in it near the eyepiece and a sheet of white paper behind that. The eclipse will be projected onto the white paper.

This can also be done without using a telescope. A cardboard box can be made into a viewing box by putting a hole in one side, and allowing the Sun to project onto a white piece of paper inside it.

Another way to view the eclipse involves wearing a special type of glasses. Do NOT wear regular sunglasses! They do not protect against direct rays from the Sun. A special type of sunglasses can be bought wherever the eclipse will be visible.

Remember, it is very important not to look at the Sun with your naked eye. The safest way to see the eclipse is by using a projection. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Last modified June 20, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA