How to view the eclipse

By Anna Zumwalt

You could watch the reflection in water (like the ancients did!), or a reflection from a mirror cast on a wall (don’t look at the mirror), or use an old pair of binoculars to cast light on a paper and make sure no one looks at the sun through binoculars….

But don’t. Get solar glasses. They’re cheap, now—but prices may skyrocket if supplies run low. As of this writing, they are available at the Clark Planetarium and at the Leonardo in packs of five ($10), 10 ($20) and 25 ($50).,

Use only solar filter glasses, made in USA. You can get them (while supplies last) at the Clark Planetarium and the Leonardo, both in downtown Salt Lake City. You can also order them online, but many reviewers claim receiving counterfeits from China, even when they say “shipping from the USA.” Be warned. Counterfeits often come folded, scratched and unusable.

Get them even if you plan on staying in Utah. Viewing a partial eclipse with naked eyes, sunglasses or even welder’s glass is as damaging as looking at the sun on a regular day… and more tempting. Even though it may not hurt at the time, don’t do it. It takes mere seconds for irreversible damage to happen, says Williams. For any viewing other than the total eclipse, NASA warns, “Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!”

This article was originally published on August 2, 2017.