As the moon proceeds to move across the face of the sun, you will notice lighting up on the opposite side from where the illuminated ring lit up at the initial phase of the eclipse. This is the sun's lower atmosphere bulging out from behind the moon, and it is your cue to stop staring straight at the eclipse. This is the most dangerous phase.
Before the first spark of sunlight appears around the edges of the moon, make sure you have your safety glasses back on.
TIP: You can watch the eclipse through a safe, indirect method at this stage.
Now the process resets. After taking adequate safety precautions, you may continue to watch the eclipse's final stages. Here the end process mirrors the beginning. You will see Baily's Beads again, followed by an illuminated ring. And then the entire sun is visible again.
Implications of Solar Eclipse
Staring at a solar eclipse can result in a burned retina, known as Solar Retinopathy or Solar Maculopathy, which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Dr. Ralph Chou, associate professor of optometry, says in an article published by NASA, "The concern over improper viewing of the sun during an eclipse is for the development of 'eclipse blindness' or retinal burns".
Children and young adults, according to Chou, are most at risk because bright glare and radiation from the sun can cause "heating and cooking of the exposed tissue of the eye". In older people, the aging process can provide a natural filtering effect, lowering the risk of retinal damage.
Can Sunglasses Protect From Solar Eclipse?
Whether you choose to watch a solar eclipse from your home, a hotel, or a beach, you must fully realize how to watch a solar eclipse without impacting your eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, using specialized solar filters is the only safe way to look directly at the sun.
Just any sunglass would seldom provide any protection against damaging glare from sun rays. Nevertheless, there are high-end sunglasses with 100% UV protection and polarized lenses. Unfortunately, none of these glasses can be of any use to watch a solar eclipse.
The fact is the most expensive sunglasses cannot shield your eyes during a solar eclipse. Interestingly, certified solar eclipse glasses that can solve this problem are actually inexpensive. These are disposable glasses for safe direct viewing of the sun during a solar eclipse. You need to ensure that these shades are certified to meet the ISO-12312-2 international standards.
Except for the absence of red and blue lenses, these glasses remarkably resemble the 3D glasses you wear to the movies. With eclipse glasses, your retina won't be harmed by harmful rays because the lenses are more reflective and darkened.
A method known as "pinhole projection" is another safe way to view a solar eclipse if you are unable to buy ISO-certified eclipse glasses in time. Using materials like leaves or your fingers to reflect the sun's light onto another surface instead of looking directly at it through a smaller opening is the correct way to view the sun.
Recommendation for Safely Viewing a Solar Eclipse
Even very dark sunglasses or homemade filters are not safe for use when looking at the sun because they transmit far too much UV light. The American Astronomical Society (AAS), a division of the National Science Foundation, provides the following advice for viewing solar eclipses safely:
Whatever method you use, keep in mind that sunglasses will not provide the necessary protection to watch this rare but damaging occultation. In order to fully experience a solar eclipse, you will need to spend some money on disposable glasses and spare a few moments looking like a space alien.