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Plan to watch next week's eclipse? Think before you look! Those special eclipse glasses are crucial

Posted at 1:21 PM, Aug 14, 2017

The one week countdown for the total eclipse is upon us.

And though it’s a total eclipse to some areas of the country, here in Indianapolis, it’s only a partial eclipse, meaning about 91 percent of the sun will be covered.

With that in mind, wearing those special solar glasses during the event are especially crucial.

It’s the astrological event of the year….
“Totality is the most spectacular event, anyone can see in their lifetime,” said Brian Murphy, the Director of the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University.

Though Indianapolis won’t experience totality, next Monday’s eclipse will still be quite the phenomenon.

“In a way, it’s like watching paint dry, normally. Seeing the sun move through the sky, the moon move through its phases,” said Murphy.

WARNING: don’t think you can get by, by staring to the skies with the naked eye.

“The eclipse might not seem as bright, as you are looking at it, but it is doing the same amount of damage as if you were looking at the full bright sun,” explained Dr. Lynn Burford, an optomestrist located in Carmel.

That fact alone makes snagging a pair of these special solar glasses even more important.

“Even looking just a few seconds at the eclipse can do permanent damage. It can cause permanent scarring at the back of the eye and permanent blind spots,” said Dr. Burford.

Dr. Burford said the effect of the sun on the retina is similar to a magnifying glass and a piece of paper, a type of damage that can’t be fixed with prescription lenses.

“It’s permanent damage, you have a permanent scar from burning a hole in your retina,” said Dr. Burford.

So what makes these glasses so special?

“Mylar, which blocks 99.99 percent of the sunlight. They block all UV and all infrared light, and that’s why they’re so good for this event. We’ve sampled them, we’ve tried them, and they’re great for viewing the sun,” said Murphy.

If you don’t get a pair of glasses, and don’t want to make your own pin-hole viewer, whatever you do, don’t look up! But keep in mind, you can look down.

“Look at the shadows coming through the trees, you’ll notice they turn from circles to little crescents, you’ll see a sea of crescents under trees,” said Murphy.

Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University will continue to sell these special glasses for two dollars, while supplies lasts, leading up to the astrological phenomenon.

And, on August 17th, 18th, and 19th the observatory will sell them during special presentations of the planetarium show All American Eclipse, which will focus on the event. These presentations are $3 for children and $5 for adults. 

Here are the dates/times of the shows:
August 17th—Doors open at 6:30 p.m., 1st show is at 7 p.m., 2nd show is at 8 p.m.
August 18th—Doors open at 6:30 p.m., 1st show is at 7 p.m., 2nd show is at 8 p.m.
August 19th—Doors open at 3:45 p.m., 1st show is at 4 p.m., 2nd show is at 7 p.m., 3rd show is at 8 p.m.