Solar Eclipse Safety

On Wednesday, August 16, Brian Burns, director of Compliance and Risk Management, sent the Wentworth community a message about necessary safety precautions when viewing the solar eclipse, which will occur on August, 21, 2017.  We have learned that the Douglas D. Schumann Library and Learning Commons is giving away solar eclipse viewing glasses. So be sure to stop by to pick up a pair so you can view the eclipse in a safe and stylish manner!


Solar Eclipse Safety

As you may know, a solar eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017. For about 2-3 hours, most of North America will be able to view a partial eclipse. About halfway through the event, some areas will experience a total eclipse lasting about 2.5 minutes.

Looking directly into the sun during the eclipse is not safe. The concentrated rays can cause serious damage to the eyes, known as retinal burns or “solar retinopathy.”  If you are going to watch the eclipse, please do so safely.

How to Watch the Eclipse Safely

According to NASA:

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. To date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

More from NASA:

  • Make sure to check the “eclipse glasses” or solar viewer before you use them
  • Cover your eyes with the viewing device before looking up at the sun
  • Look away from the sun before taking off the viewing device
  • DO NOT USE a camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device even when using eclipse glasses or solar viewer
  • Sunglasses are not appropriate viewing devices

Symptoms of Retinal Burns

  • Symptoms commonly occur within hours of exposure.
  • Symptoms include blurry vision and a blind-spot in one, or more commonly, both eyes. Additional complaints may include incomplete color blindness, objects appearing smaller than they are, or headaches.

Additional Resources

Here are some links to additional information on the eclipse:

If you have any questions on the information contained in this Risk at WIT communication, please contact Brian Burns, Director of Compliance and Risk Management at

Much of the content of this was borrowed from Rochester Institute of Technology Ready Newsletter.

Brian Burns |