LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
On Monday, August 21, Airmen and their families stationed at Luke Air Force Base will have the opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse.
According to NASA, this is the first total eclipse visible to the United States in 38 years. The historic event will be visible to residents of the West Valley starting at 9 a.m. and peak around 10:30 a.m.
Eleven states will get to experience the total solar eclipse where the sun is completely blocked, while others will see a partial eclipse.
Without protection, your eyes could be damaged while viewing the eclipse, which could possibly cause blindness. Ordinary sunglasses or homemade filters will not protect your eyes. You will have to use specially designed eclipse glasses or solar filters to safely view the event.
Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology that will help you enjoy the event safely:
- Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them.
- Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
- Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
- The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
- Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.
- Talk with an expert astronomer if you want to use a special solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.
To make sure you get (or got) your eclipse glasses/viewers from a supplier of ISO-compliant products, see the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page visit, https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.
For more information on eye safety during the eclipse, visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.