Ask a Scientist: What Makes Solar Eclipse Glasses So Special? Can I Just Wear Sunglasses?

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The solar eclipse glasses are special because they block out so much of the sunlight that they allow you to actually look directly at the sun during the eclipse--during the partial part of the eclipse. If you don't use these eclipse glasses you can damage your eyes. You don't want to use regular sunglasses because they would actually have an even worse effect than looking at it without sunglasses because sunglasses allow you-- they darken it somewhat and they make your pupils get bigger. Still, the damaging rays from the sun will still enter your eyes. These eclipse glasses are what you want to use to look at the sun. Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.


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David Boboltz of the National Science Foundation explains the hazards of not wearing the appropriate glasses to view the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Those wishing to view the eclipse need to make sure they have approved solar glasses so they do not damage their eyes.

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