Solar Eclipse 2024: What are ISO-certified eclipse glasses?


The moon will blot out the sun for millions of people in a total solar eclipse occurring on Monday, April 8. As the rare astronomical phenomenon dawns upon us, it is important the skygazers don the correct ISO-certified eclipse glasses. 

According to the American Astronomical Society, the best way to watch an eclipse while protecting ones eyes is by adopting ‘ISO 12312-2:2015’ certified eyewear. This specifies the properties that a solar viewer should have in order to protect your eyes from injury and provide a comfortable view.

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

The world is witnessing a rare phenomenon- the total solar eclipse today. In a total solar eclipse the moon passes between the sun and Earth, entirely covering the face of the sun along a small path of our planet’s surface.

Monday’s total solar eclipse will be visible in the North and South America. 

During a total solar eclipse the daytime sky turns dark, akin to dusk or dawn.

In places along the path of totality, people will be able to view the sun’s corona – the star’s outer atmosphere – that typically is not visible because of solar brightness. People observing from outside the path of totality will see a partial eclipse in which the moon obscures most of the sun’s face but not all of it.

After this one, the next total solar eclipse viewable from the contiguous United States will not occur until 2044.

What are Eclipse glasses?

Eclipse glasses are necessary for viewing a partial or total solar eclipse. These glasses are different than regular sunglasses or tinted glasses. Genuine eclipse glasses must meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard, which determines the specific criteria for safe eclipse viewing.

Eclipse glasses should have a special solar filter to block the sun’s harmful UV and infrared rays, allowing only a limited amount of visible light to reach the eyes. ISO 12312-2 standard lays the eclipse glasses guidelines that provide sufficient protection from harmful sun exposure while viewing the eclipse.

Risks of wearing unsafe glasses

During a solar eclipse, it’s never safe to view the sun without wearing proper eclipse glasses. You can’t use a camera lens, a telescope or binoculars without the special solar filter because the concentrated solar rays can cause serious eye injuries. 

Always look through eclipse glasses, which are a thousand times darker than ordinary glasses. The specialized glasses must comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard; check them for any damages before using them. Buy them only from trusted vendors to avoid problems.

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Published: 08 Apr 2024, 08:57 PM IST


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