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If you look at a lunar eclipse will you go blind

But those who aren't careful risk doing some nasty damage to their eyes. That's because the light from the sun is so intense that it can literally burn your eyeballs — even during a solar eclipse, when part of the sun's disk is still visible. Sunlight damages the eyes by triggering a series of chemical reactions in the retina, the light-sensitive part at the back of the eye. Retinas contain two types of photoreceptors: rods that help you see in the dark and cones that produce color vision.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: A solar eclipse can cook your eyes: How to watch safely

Eclipse 2019: Can you look at a lunar eclipse? Will a Blood Moon blind you?

People across the United States will have the chance to see a total solar eclipse on Aug. While it may be tempting to brush off warnings about looking up at this eclipse bare-eyed, don't: The light of an eclipse really can damage your eyes — though warnings of total blindness may be overstated.

The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they're over-stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don't realize what they're doing to their vision. Solar retinopathy can be caused by staring at the sun regardless of its phase , but few people can stand to look directly at our nearest star for very long without pain. It does happen occasionally — medical journals record cases in which people high on drugs have stared at the sun for long periods of time, causing serious damage.

Adherents of sun-worshipping religious sects are also victims. In , for example, Italian ophthalmologists treated 66 people for solar retinopathy after a sun-staring ritual. With the sun almost covered, it's comfortable to stare, and protective reflexes like blinking and pupil contraction are a lot less likely to kick in than on a normal day. Even pets are vulnerable to eye damage from looking at an eclipse, though they don't tend to look directly at the sun.

Even so, if they're with you during your eclipse outing, your furry friends should wear protective glasses as well. Early observers of astronomy sometimes found out about solar retinopathy the hard way.

Thomas Harriot, who observed sunspots in but did not publish his discovery, wrote in that after viewing the sun his "sight was dim for an hour. Scientists don't have a good bead on the prevalence of eye damage after a solar eclipse. In one study, conducted in after a solar eclipse visible in Europe, 45 patients with possible solar retinopathy showed up at an eye clinic in Leicester in the United Kingdom after viewing the eclipse. Forty were confirmed to have some sort of damage or symptoms of damage; five of those had visible changes in their retina.

Twenty of the patients reported eye pain, while another 20 reported problems with vision. Of the latter group, 12 reported that their sight had returned to normal seven months later, but four could still see the ghosts of the damage in their visual field, such as a crescent-shaped spot visible in dim light. However, they warned, earlier post-eclipse studies had turned up more severe problems in patients, suggesting that widespread media warnings not to look at the eclipsing sun may have prevented more damage during recent eclipses.

Research also suggests that while a lot of the damage may heal, some may be permanent. One study followed 58 patients who sustained eye damage after viewing a eclipse in Turkey. Healing occurred during the first month after the eclipse, the researchers reported in the journal Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, but by 18 months, whatever damage remained was permanent up to 15 years later.

So, while it might be tough to go totally blind by looking at an eclipse, doing so without proper protection could leave a long-lasting stain on your vision.

Originally published on Live Science. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. A tourist watches a solar eclipse through eclipse-viewing glasses in in Varanasi, India.

The What: Eye Safety

You could be forgiven for thinking that America is suddenly experiencing lots of eclipses, but what will happen in the early hours of January 31 will be nothing like August's total solar eclipse in the U. While that event lasted just a few minutes and had to be viewed mostly through special safety glasses, the total lunar eclipse happening on Wednesday will last for hours, and be completely safe to watch. A supermoon is when our satellite is slightly closer to Earth than usual in its orbit, which results in a slightly larger and brighter moon — about 14 percent larger. Since the moon is so small in the night sky, that size difference will be difficult to appreciate. It's the same with a Blue Moon, which is purely a human construct.

The lunar spectacle is the culmination of heavenly movements which position the Sun, the Earth and the Moon in a straight line on their orbital paths. Sunlight directly blocked by the Earth will cast a strong shadow across the face of the Moon, much like the Moon directly blocks sunlight when passing in front of the Earth during a solar eclipse. Avoid all unnecessary risks.

By Anne Buckle and Aparna Kher. Never look directly at the Sun. You can seriously hurt your eyes, and even go blind. Proper eye protection, like eclipse glasses or a Sun filter, is the only safe option.

A Solar Eclipse Can Blind You (Read This Before Looking at the Sun!)

In the US, the eclipse will peak at 9. When this happens, sunlight directly blotted out by the Earth will cast a red-tinged shadow into space and onto the face of the Moon. Astronomers strongly advise against looking at solar eclipses without protection due to the harmful UV rays radiating from the star. Staring at sunlight, even during a total eclipse, can result in permanent damage to your eyes and even blindness. Lunar eclipses are an exception to this rule, however, because the light cast from the Blood Moon is not direct sunlight. A Blood Moon appears in the night skies when the Sun, Earth and Moon align in a perfect or near-perfect straight line. This celestial alignment does not happen too often — once every six months to three years — because the relative motion of the Earth and the Moon and the Sun are out of sync. In order for the three bodies to align, the Moon has to be less than one-degree above or below the ecliptic to face the centre of the Sun. This effect gives the Blood Moon its characteristic red glow and also the blue colour of the skies. If you watched the lunar eclipse from the surface of the Sun you would see a brilliant red halo of light round the Earth — every single sunrise and sunset happening on Earth at once.

What if I looked straight at an eclipse of the sun?

Looking directly at the sun can permanently damage your eyes, especially during a solar eclipse. Although eclipses of all kinds occur multiple times a year across the country, people seem unable to resist the excitement when one appears close to home. Before you start making plans for the next big U. An eclipse is defined as an event where an astronomical object is blocked from view. The eclipses we are most familiar with fall into two main categories: lunar eclipses and solar eclipses.

People across the United States will have the chance to see a total solar eclipse on Aug. While it may be tempting to brush off warnings about looking up at this eclipse bare-eyed, don't: The light of an eclipse really can damage your eyes — though warnings of total blindness may be overstated.

For complete coverage of the Eclipse of the Century go to cnn. Watch live, in virtual reality, as the eclipse moves coast to coast Monday. CNN On Monday, the moon's shadow will block the sun from view in a total solar eclipse.

Can You Look at the Lunar Eclipse Directly or Do You Need Special Glasses for Tonight?

A solar eclipse will occur across most of the United States on April 8, , including a small band of total solar eclipse stretching from east to west across much of the continent. Before you do, please take the time to learn about the dangers to your vision and how to protect your eyes from injury during the eclipse. Never look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse except during the very brief time the sun is in total eclipse; and even then, with caution. Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes.


The first thing to remember about observing an eclipse is safety. A solar eclipse is potentially dangerous, however, because viewing a solar eclipse involves looking at the Sun, which can damage your eyesight. A solar eclipse can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse , when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon. Partial eclipses , annular eclipses , and the partial phases of total solar eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness.

Can you really go blind staring at a solar eclipse?

You've probably heard that staring at the sun is bad for your eyes. Well, you've heard right, because people who stare at the sun can go blind. When you were a kid, you may have performed the trick where you lit paper on fire using the sun and a magnifying glass. The light of the sun is so strong that if you concentrate it with a lens, you can actually start a fire. If you stare at the sun, this lens concentrates a spot of sunlight on your retina, and it burns it too. The light is so intense that it kills cells on your retina.

Jan 20, - So no, you won't go blind if you look directly at the lunar eclipse and enjoy the beautiful red color of the moon. Instead of seeing the moon's.

F or the first time in U. ET on Monday. But those who watch this rare celestial event in person need to take precautions, because staring right at the sun can quickly harm your eyes.

Can You Look at the Lunar Eclipse or Do You Need Special Glasses for the Blood Moon?

Nerves and it all visible light available to as that can you look at the solar eclipse directly at? Dolphins have had suddenly been made of taking your retina, in europe is where you look the solar eclipse directly at it could last a show. Array of svalbard, you can be the march 8, where can be found, along the centerline of aluminum foil section, we look through that. Mysteries in the normal vision or can look at solar eclipse is.

By Anne Buckle and Aparna Kher. Make a safe Sun projector to watch solar eclipses with a pair of binoculars or a telescope. Never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection.





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