On Monday, August 21, Florida will experience a partial solar eclipse, and the Florida Department of Health reminds all Floridians to enjoy this rare event safely by following simple precautions and using proper protection. Severe retinal damage can occur from looking directly at the sun.
"The solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event that I'm sure many of us will want to experience,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. "I look forward to viewing the eclipse safely using approved solar eclipse glasses, and I encourage all of Florida's residents and visitors to practice caution while driving or walking outdoors during the period of darkness.”
Because Florida will not experience a total solar eclipse, it will not be safe the view the eclipse without the use of special solar filters like eclipse glasses. Sunglasses are not eclipse glasses. Not all glasses that market themselves as "eclipse glasses” are safe. Approved glasses have filters that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safety. A list of vendors for approved eclipse glasses can be viewed on the American Astronomical Society (AAS) website. During the eclipse, be sure to take breaks and avoid staring at the sun for long periods of time, even with eclipse glasses.
Take simple precautions to protect your vision before, during and after the solar eclipse:
Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter;
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device;
Always supervise children using solar filters; and
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.
You can read more about solar eclipse safety on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Eclipse 101 website.