Safety First

How to View an Eclipse Safely

It’s not the eclipse that is dangerous to observe, it’s the Sun! The Sun’s visible (and invisible) rays can cause serious damage to the sensitive tissues of the eyes, often without being immediately aware of it! Normally, our common sense protects us from looking directly at the Sun for more than a second. But during an eclipse, astronomical enthusiasm can overwhelm common sense, and people can wind up staring at the Sun for too long. Make sure all attendees have something with them to protect their eyes before the eclipse becomes total – or if they are only seeing the partial eclipse.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” provided by the District (example shown above). Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun.

Sunglasses are NOT sufficient to protect your eyes! If you are viewing the partial eclipse only, you must keep your glasses on anytime you are looking in the direction of the Sun.

 

HAVE STUDENTS WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW, PRIOR TO THE ECLIPSE 

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St. Vrain Safety Procedures

Please follow the steps below to best prepare your students for a safe viewing experience. If you have any questions please call Michael O’Toole – Science Coordinator at 303-682-7232.

How to use your eclipse glasses safely:

  • In your classroom talk to your students about the Eclipse. If you have the time, use appropriate learning resources to make this an educational opportunity. Explain how rare this event is and stress the importance of wearing the proper safety glasses.
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  • Please have your students watch the four minute video above. (https://blogs.svvsd.org/eclipse/safety)
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  • Before you put the glasses on, make sure that the black plastic within the paper frames is not scratched or broken. Carefully check any glasses that children will be wearing.
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  • In your classroom, PRACTICE putting their safety glasses on and then looking up indoors prior to going outside. Make sure that the glasses fit behind your ears; try moving your head around to make sure they don’t fall off. Have all of your students try their glasses on and repeat the importance of keeping them on while looking at the eclipse. Keep students within your view while they are looking at the Sun.
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  • After moving outside, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses before looking up at the bright Sun. After glancing at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter – do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
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  • It is recommended that students limit their viewing of the eclipse to 3 consecutive minutes.
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  • Continue to remind everyone that it’s never safe to look at the Sun without the eclipse glasses or other indirect viewing technique.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

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When do you need to wear the glasses?
You need to wear the glasses whenever any part of the bright Sun is visible.

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American Astronomical Society Guide on Safety

Eclipses & Eye Safety (Charles Fulco, Science & Children, March 2017, NSTA Press)

Preparing for the Eclipse: How to Safely Observe the Sun with Young Children” (A. Hurst, J. Plummer, S. Gurton & D. Schatz, Science & Children, March 2017, NSTA Press)

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Information Compiled from StarNet, NASA.gov, American Astronomical Society & the University of Colorado