On Monday, Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will cover parts of the country from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, according to NASA. In the Chicago area, including suburbs like Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park, the sun will only be blocked partially by the moon.
And that can mean the risk of blindness for millions, according to experts.
Dr. Neil Bressler, a Baltimore retina expert, told Chicago Tonight that Monday’s solar eclipse is particularly dangerous.
Looking up “might not hurt your eye at first,” Bressler said, “but it certainly is hurting your retina.”
Per the Chicago Tonight report:
“As the moon starts to block our view of the sun – covering up to 87 percent of it in Chicago by early afternoon – some might be tempted to witness the rare event with their naked eye, Bressler said. But even though the sun will be partially blocked, he said the remaining light is enough to cause vision damage after as little as 10 seconds of exposure.”
Chicago Tonight compares the potential retina damage caused by looking at the sun during a partial eclipse to sunburn; “the pain caused by exposing your eyes to direct sunlight usually follows hours or even a day later.”
To lower your risk of going blind because of the eclipse — the first one visible in the United States in over 30 years and the first total eclipse in nearly a century — follow these safety tips recommended by NASA (click here). You can also map the start and end times of Monday’s eclipse here.
You can also watch this cool video posted to NASA’s twitter account:
And for concerned pet owners, there is this:
Yet, more cool eclipse information: