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How to Safely Observe the Sun & Solar Eclipses

31 Jul 2019, 06:21 UTC
How to Safely Observe the Sun & Solar Eclipses
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Solar observation is the only area of astronomy where a mistake can result in injury or permanent bodily harm. And even if you think you’re safe from buying the right equipment, there have been numerous cases of fake eclipse glasses sold resulting in permanent eye injuries in 2017 and even cases of fake ISO certification labels, meaning the ISO certification can no longer can be trusted as the sole guideline to guarantee a safe solar filter or pair of eclipse glasses.
This is not to say solar observing should be avoided, however. It is no more dangerous than many outdoor activities. However, care should always be taken while observing the sun and solar eclipses.
With that said, let’s first get to some basic safety information and to choosing equipment.
Approved Brands for Solar Filters
The American Astronomical Society and others have a list of approved brands. Here is a condensed list of the brands they and others recommend for completely safe solar filters and eclipse shades:

Adorama
Alpine Astronomical
American Paper Optics
American Paperware
APM Telescopes
Astro-Physics
Baader Planetarium
Celestron
DayStar
Explore Scientific
Galileo Optics
ICSTARS
iOptron
Halo Solar Eclipse Spectacles
Jaxy Optical Instrument Co., Ltd.
Kendrick Astro ...

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