Easy ways to observe the solar eclipse

By: Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 10, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Local stores are abuzz ahead of the solar eclipse on August 21, as solar eclipse glasses are flying off the shelves.

If getting a pair of glasses or solar filters isn’t possible, there are a couple of indirect ways to view the partial solar eclipse that will be visible in North Florida and South Georgia.

Pinhole projection is an inexpensive way to observe the eclipse.

To make one, take a piece of paper or cardboard and poke a small hole in it. On a normal day, a small spot of light should be visible within the paper’s shadow. During an eclipse, the spot of light will gradually become enveloped by the shadow. This would mimic the way the moon is casting a shadow on the earth.

Another simple way to see the eclipse only involves two hands.

Place hands out with fingers spread out. Place one hand on top of the other so that the fingers on the left hand are perpendicular from the right hand. The shadow below will create a checker pattern or several boxes between the fingers. Each box of light will become crescent-shaped during an eclipse.

Remember, sunglasses will not protect the eyes when looking directly at an eclipse.

"If there's any crescent of the actual sun visible, that can harm your eyes permanently, even during an eclipse,” said Dr. Michael Haney, an ophthalmologist in Thomasville, Georgia. “That’s why an eclipse is more of a problem; it’s more comfortable to look directly at the sun because there’s not as much of the sun exposed.”

Planning on using eclipse glasses or filters? Make sure it meets the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. Look for the "ISO" marking on the side of the glasses. Click HERE for a list of trusted solar eclipse glasses vendors.
Solar eclipse glasses will not provide proper protection if viewing an eclipse through a telescope or binoculars. Be sure to use the proper solar filters over any camera, binoculars, or telescope.