How to Safely Watch a Total Solar Eclipse

  • Released Thursday, February 15, 2024

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun.

When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses) or a safe handheld solar viewer. Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the Sun. During the short time when the Moon completely obscures the Sun – known as the period of totality – it is safe to look directly at the star without eye protection. However, it’s crucial that you know when to both remove and put back on your safe solar viewing glasses.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, February 15, 2024.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 10:49 AM EST.


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