What Are Solar Eclipses?

Have you ever wondered what causes a solar eclipse? Well, let's dive in!

Solar Eclipse Definition

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking part of the sun from our perspective here on Earth. The sun is a star and it’s much larger than the moon. However, the moon appears larger because it’s closer to Earth.

solar eclipse education graphic

Types of Solar Eclipses

There are three types of solar eclipses: total, partial and hybrid. During a total solar eclipse, the moon completely blocks the sun and the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, is visible. A partial solar eclipse occurs when only part of the sun is blocked. A hybrid solar eclipse, also known as an annular-total eclipse, is a combination of the two previous types, forming a ring of fire around the moon.

full solar eclipse phases arch

Path of Totality

Where you are located on Earth during a solar eclipse will affect what you see in the sky. The path of totality is an area where the total solar eclipse is visible. However, if you are located outside of this path, you may still see a partial eclipse.

solar eclipse map nasa 2024 and 2024 united states

Frequency of Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses occur regularly but are not visible from all locations on Earth. They happen about twice a year but not in the same place. The last solar eclipse occurred on December 14, 2020, and was a total eclipse. The next solar eclipse is going to happen on April 8, 2024, and it’s also a total solar eclipse. This event will be visible in North America.

What Are Lunar Eclipses?

Just like a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. The moon is in the Earth’s shadow, which gives it a reddish hue, also known as a Blood Moon.

phases of lunar eclipse

Save the Date! April 8, 2024!

In short, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks part of the sun from our view. There are different types of solar eclipses, and these phenomena happen regularly, but they’re not visible from all places on Earth. Remember to mark your calendar for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024!

Do You Have the Right Glasses?

Ensuring your safety during a total solar eclipse is crucial, and proper eyewear is necessary. Standard sunglasses will not sufficiently shield you from the intense rays that occur when the moon passes over the sun. To find the correct protective eyewear, it is recommended that you order ISO and CE certified eclipse glasses from American Paper Optics. These glasses are the safest and most reliable option for watching the eclipse. Check out the sample back (below) for more information on how to stay safe during this exciting event.

are your solar eclipse glasses safe graphic

Safety Instructions on Eclipse Glasses (What to Look for on the Back)

Ensure that your eclipse glasses have important safety instructions printed directly inside the frame of the glasses (see below). These instructions serve as a reminder to users that approved eye-wear must be worn during all partial phases of the eclipse to safeguard your eyes.

approved and certified iso solar eclipse glasses info

Reliable and Approved: Test Results and Documentation

Rest assured that everything we do is thoroughly tested and approved. To review our certifications and documentation, please click on the links provided below:

  1. *EU Declaration of Conformity (Annex IX)
  2. CE Certification
  3. ISO Certification (Paper)
  4. ISO Certification (Plastic)
  5. Australia and New Zealand Certification

By accessing these resources, you can verify that our products and processes meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

Beware of Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses

Knowing how to identify counterfeit eclipse glasses is essential to ensure your safety during a solar eclipse. Here are some key indicators that can help you determine if your eclipse glasses may be counterfeit:

  • Lack of Certification: Genuine eclipse glasses will have ISO and CE certifications printed on them. If your glasses do not have these markings, they may be counterfeit.

  • Poor Construction: Counterfeit glasses often have flimsy frames, poor-quality lenses, or uneven tinting. Inspect the glasses carefully for any signs of subpar construction.

  • Price Discrepancies: If the price of the glasses seems too good to be true or considerably lower than other reputable brands, it is a warning sign that they may be counterfeit.

  • Suspicious Sellers: Be cautious when buying eclipse glasses from unknown sellers or unreliable sources. Stick to reputable vendors who specialize in solar viewing products.

Remember, your eye safety is paramount during a solar eclipse. If you suspect your eclipse glasses might be counterfeit, it is best to refrain from using them and seek a trustworthy replacement.

Takeaway: Always Be Safe

In conclusion, the solar eclipse is a rare and fascinating natural phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is crucial to prioritize safety when observing it. Use certified solar eclipse glasses and adhere to the safety tips highlighted above to avoid permanent eye damage. Lastly, have fun observing the solar eclipse!

Solar Eclipse Glasses FAQs

A solar eclipse is a natural event where the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, resulting in the temporary blocking of the Sun's rays from reaching the Earth.

Looking directly at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness. The harmful radiation emitted by the Sun during an eclipse can damage the cells in the retina, leading to permanent vision loss.

Symptoms of solar eclipse eye damage can include a decrease or loss of vision, a central or blurry spot in your vision, distortion or wavy vision, sensitivity to light, headache, and eye pain.

The only safe way to watch a solar eclipse is by using proper eye protection, such as ISO-certified eclipse glasses or a solar filter that fits snugly over the front of a telescope. Do not use sunglasses, binoculars, or homemade filters, as these do not provide adequate protection.

ISO-certified eclipse glasses can be purchased online from reputable retailers, such as our website and our supplier at EclipseGlasses.com. Make sure to check for the ISO logo and certification number on the glasses before purchasing.

If your eclipse glasses are ISO-certified, and there are no scratches, holes, or other damage, they can be reused for future eclipses. However, be sure to inspect them carefully before using them again.

No, you cannot use a regular camera lens to photograph a solar eclipse without a solar filter. The intense light can damage your camera's sensor and potentially cause permanent damage.

Yes, children and infants are at a higher risk of eye damage from a solar eclipse because their eyes are more sensitive to light. Make sure to supervise children and ensure they wear proper eye protection during the eclipse.

No, you cannot watch a solar eclipse through a car window or tinted glass. These materials do not provide adequate protection from the harmful radiation, and looking directly at the Sun through the window can still cause eye damage.

If you believe you may have damaged your eyes while watching a solar eclipse, seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub or touch your eyes, as this can cause further damage.

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