Can A Solar Eclipse Actually Damage Your Eyes?

By Chandana Rao

The universe as we know it, comes with many strange, yet beautiful phenomena which can make humans awestruck, right?

As kids, most of us would have wondered about what exists beyond the earth or the sun and quite frankly, most of us do that even now!

Because, even with all the technological advancements, the human race has still not been able to completely determine the extent of the entire universe and what exists within its realms.

solar eclipse facts

However, with every passing day, we are discovering more and more things about the universe that can shock us, as well as fill us with a sense of marvel.

Just like the existence of different planets, black holes, the occurrences of meteorites, etc., an eclipse too is a natural phenomenon which occurs in the universe.

सूर्यग्रहण से जुड़े अंधविश्वास | Superstition about Solar Eclipse | Boldsky

An eclipse can be described as astronomical even in which an astronomical object is completely or partially obscured temporarily.

Usually it is the stars, planets or the natural satellites which get obscured, either by the shadow of another passing astronomical object or because of the passage of an astronomical body passing between the obscured object and the viewer.

There are two types of eclipses, which can be seen from the earth, namely, the solar eclipse and the lunar eclipse.

The solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, so the moon blocks the sun either completely or partially, until it passes to complete a rotation.

A solar eclipse can only occur on a new moon day and during this occurrence, certain parts of the earth may lose sunlight for a short while.

Now, in most traditions there is a belief that eclipses can harm a person's health and well-being. So, people are asked to stay indoors and not consume food, etc., until the eclipse passes.

Many people thought they were just superstitious beliefs; however, there is also scientific evidence that the eclipse could be hazardous for one's health.

Now, can a solar eclipse actually blind you? Let us find out, here.

The Link Between Solar Eclipse And Eye Damage
This year, on the 21st of August, certain parts of the earth will get to witness a total solar eclipse.

So, people may be wondering whether it is safe to look at the sun during a solar eclipse.

Now, experts have stated that looking at the sun directly during a solar eclipse can lead to a condition known as solar retinopathy.

Solar retinopathy occurs when bright light from the sun during a solar eclipse damages the light-sensing cells in the retina of the eye.

Although this condition may be painless, it could still damage your vision in the long run.

Even early on, astronomers who were studying the solar eclipse like Thomas Harrison and Isaac Newton experienced temporary vision damage!

Later on, in 1999, a group of 45 people reported to the doctors of eye pain and vision damage, after viewing a solar eclipse.

So, there is solid proof that viewing a solar eclipse with your naked eye can cause solar retinopathy.

It is best to view a solar eclipse using protective glasses, for a short while.

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    Read more about: eclipse eyes
    Story first published: Saturday, August 19, 2017, 15:30 [IST]
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