On April 8th 2024, many of us will have an opportunity to experience a total eclipse of the sun, an event that happens infrequently. The moon is in a position that blocks the sun’s rays and casts a shadow that essentially makes it seem as dark as night.
However, as the moon moves away and gradually stops blocking the sun’s rays, the bright sunlight can suddenly enter the eye, focused on the central vision part of the retina. This can cause a temporary or permanent burn, which can result in loss of vision.
Below are some tips on how to safely experience a total eclipse of the sun.



Because a total eclipse of the sun is a rare event, we’re of course interested in looking at this phenomenon. So how can we do that? Here’s some tips and advice from the surgeons and staff of the Bochner Eye Institute.


1. Wear glasses designed and approved for viewing an eclipse: Sunglasses are not enough protection. See here for a list of approved sellers of eclipse viewing glasses. Look for the Canadian vendors.

2. Wear welding goggles with a #14 lens: Although more costly than eclipse glasses, real welding goggles offer the protection you need and the durability to last until the next eclipse.

3. Use a pinhole camera or projector: Plans are available online from institutions such as NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to help you construct either a pinhole camera or a pinhole projector that will allow you to see the eclipse without ever looking directly at the sun. See the links below.

4. Tune In To ‘Chasing The Shadow’: The University Of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute For Astronomy & Astrophysics will be working with partners across Canada to stream the eclipse live as it makes its way from Niagara to Newfoundland. Visit here to learn more.

Whatever you choose to do, please remember to never look at the eclipse directly or through any unprotected lenses such as binoculars, telescopes or cameras. If for some reason you do end up looking directly at the eclipse and feel that you may have caused some damage, see your eye doctor immediately.
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