NewsFact Check


Fact Check: Viewing the eclipse

Posted at 4:20 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-30 13:16:29-04

We’re just days away from a once in a lifetime celestial event, a total eclipse of the sun over the continental United States.

It’s the first in 99 years, and everyone wants to see it. So let’s do a fact check fact or fiction?

Any generic protective eye-wear will protect your eyes from the solar eclipse.

Our fact check team found not only is that fiction but looking at the eclipse with the wrong eye-wear can lead to vision problems.

Dr. Heriberto Ramos, who is an optometrist, says," In our area, it’s gonna be a partial eclipse so no one in Corpus Christi can actually safely look at the eclipse." Dr. Heriberto Ramos is talking about viewing the eclipse with the naked eye.

But a fact check question was about looking at it with eye-wear. Well, regular eye-wear is not good and forget about sunglasses. Even safety glasses are out.

So how can we view this once in a lifetime event? This is what you need, special eclipse viewing glasses. They’re available at stores and online.

But check to make sure they have what’s known as the ISO standard. That means the glasses are designed to filter out the harmful rays of the sun.

Special eclipse viewing glasses are kind of hot right now so you might not be able to find them.

So what do you do?

  • Get a shoe box, or something similar.
  • Tape an aluminum square on the outside.
  • And here’s the key part, poke a one-millimeter hole through the foil and into the box. It has to be one millimeter in size.
  • On the inside of the box, tape a white square of paper opposite the hole.
  • And if you’re thinking of taking your chances and viewing the eclipse without protection, here’s some eye opening information for you.

Dr. Ramos says,"It can deteriorate your vision, permanently for some people." "The damage that’s done to that area, it looks burned almost like it kind of lets that charred look to it," he continued.

So when planning on how you’ll view Monday’s big event, your eye safety should eclipse all other concerns.

And if in doubt, Dr. Ramos says the safest way to see an eclipse is through live TV or the shoe box method.