GREENVILLE, S.C.—Eclipse parties are being planned across the state and people are scheduling time off from work on Aug. 21, but people planning to view the eclipse will require more than a location and good company.
The Greenville Health System Eye Institute encourages those planning to view this astronomic feat to make sure their eyes are protected.
“When unprotected eyes look at the Sun for more than just a glimpse, the intense visible light and focused infrared radiation can damage, or even destroy, light-sensitive rod and cone cells inside of the retina or leave permanent scarring,” said Grant Brown, a master optician with the GHS Eye Institute.
Starting this week, the practice will offer FREE filters at its Greenville (104 Simpson St.), Easley (109 Fleetwood Drive) and Spartanburg (333 S. Pine St.) offices. The design of the glasses was approved by NASA and the American Astronautical Society and will be available on a first come, first-served basis.
“With proper precautions, this type of filter makes it safe to look at the pre- and post-totality portions of the eclipse,” Brown said. “For the fleeting few moments during a total eclipse when the entire disk of the sun is completely covered by the moon’s silhouette, it’s safe to look at this spectacular sight with your naked eyes. While viewing an eclipse at totality is safe, it’s important to be aware of when it ends and when the sun starts its return.”
Brown also suggests watching children closely.
“Great caution should be exercised to properly monitor children, as a combination of their natural curiosity and lack of knowledge of the consequences may pose a very real danger,” he said. “Even for those parents, teachers and caregivers who don’t intend to watch this eclipse, children, especially those who might be outside, should be under close observation for their safety.”