On August 21, we will have an opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. The last eclipse was in 1979. In this eclipse, the moon will move between the sun and the earth, blocking the ability to see the sun for about 2 minutes. In order to see this phenomenon, we need to have adequate eye protection. Eclipse glasses are available for purchase online and elsewhere. It is important to get approved protection glasses. Look on the product label for meeting the 2015 safety requirements of ISO 12312-2 for direct solar viewing. Official viewing times for Indianapolis are as follows: beginning time 12:57 pm, maximum point 2:25 pm, and ends at 3:48 pm.
The reason eye protection is so important is the damaging effect of the sun’s light on the retina at the back of the eye. The light focuses on the retina and can cause burning or scorching to this vital part of our eye. Looking directly at the sun even for short periods of time can be enough to cause damage. Using an appropriate eyeglass device can limit the light and thus the damage to the back of the eye. Regular sunglasses are not enough!! The damage may not be painful, and you may not know it is even going on, so you need to be protected.
This is a rare event to see a solar eclipse, so be safe! The next solar eclipse will be visible in Indianapolis in April 2024.