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Keep your eyes safe, but enjoy the eclipse, too: a solar glasses primer

A bald man with a blonde beard wearing a blue striped polo shirt models eclipse glasses in a radio control room
Scott Fybush
/
WXXI News
WXXI's Scott Fybush shows off his eclipse glasses in the station's control room

The first rule of eclipse glasses is - make sure you have them. You can get high-quality ones just about anywhere right now, whether it's your local public library or town hall, grocery stores or the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Make sure yours have "ISO 12312" certification printed on them, and test them out indoors.

Eye damage is a real concern, but it's also easy to avoid. During the hour leading up to totality and the hour afterward on Monday, you need to keep your glasses on, but only when you're looking directly at the sun.

And here's the most important thing: as soon as the moon completely covers the sun Monday afternoon, you have just over three and a half minutes of totality when you want to take the glasses off. It's completely safe to look directly at the sun during the total eclipse, and it's the only way you'll get to see the remarkable view of the sun's corona and the stars by daylight.

At the moment totality ends and the edge of the sun reappears, have your glasses ready again, because you need to put them back on if you're going to look directly at the crescent of the sun as it re-emerges from behind the moon.

With a little caution and a little common sense, there's nothing to be afraid of. Your eyes will be fine - and the rest of your senses will also be part of the amazing experience that is a total solar eclipse.

You'll hear Scott in various capacities on WXXI either as a reporter, or hosting Morning Edition or All Things Considered.