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Solar Eclipse: Avoid harmful light for your eyes and electronic devices



Little Rock, Arkansas – You’ve probably heard about the importance of wearing eye protection as this year’s solar eclipse draws near, but did you also realize that your digital gadgets, including phones and cameras, require protection?

Many people in the state will be watching the solar eclipse and may even want to take pictures to save the experience, but if you don’t have the right supplies, your electronics and eyes could suffer serious harm.

The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society’s Outreach Coordinator, Darrell Heath, claims that staring directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause retinal scarring, which can result in short-term or long-term damage like migraines, distorted vision, and blind spots, among other symptoms.

“The sunlight can actually cook that retina so you’re risking retinal damage if you stare at the sun for more that 2 or 3 seconds,” Heath said.

For those who intend to spend the occasion outside, Heath advises wearing eye protection.

“Make sure that if you do have them they have the iso number 123122. That conforms to that. That’s a NASA standard of eclipse approved glass,” Heath said. “Also, number 14 grade welding glasses are also good for observing the sun with. Or you can even get solar dedicated binoculars like these that have glass filters at the front that only allow certain wavelengths of light from the sun to get through to your eye,” Heath added.

Your digital devices are also at risk in addition to your eyes.

“Whether you’re using a real camera or using your phone the intensity of that light that’s coming in is so intense that it can actually like last year when we had the eclipse, we had several cameras come in where the sensor was actually burned like a hole burned through the center essentially. So it can ruin your camera, it can ruin your phone if you don’t have a protectant just like it can ruin your eyes if you don’t have those protected,” Bedford Camera & Video, President, Austin Pittman said.

“It’s kind of a universal cardboard thing that you customize to your lens it fits right on there. Same thing with the phone it’s just a little solar filter that you hold up in front of your phone,” Pittman said.

It is nevertheless advised for everyone to use solar eclipse glasses to protect their eyes, even if their devices have filters.

On April 6, Barns and Noble will conduct an educational eclipse fundraiser for the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society. On April 8, Bedford Camera will celebrate the eclipse. Both offer suitable eyeglasses.

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