Earth  Sun  ID: 12637

How to Safely Watch a Solar Eclipse

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It is never safe to look directly at the sun's rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun, or use an alternate indirect method. This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked.

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, but it's crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your glasses.

First and foremost: Check for local information on timing of when the total eclipse will begin and end. NASA's page of eclipse times is a good place to start.

Second: The sun also provides important clues for when totality is about to start and end.

Learn more at

Find more videos about the solar ecilpse on the Sun Eclipse 2017 gallery page.


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Jenny Hottle (NASA/GSFC): Producer
Jenny Hottle (NASA/GSFC): Editor
Sarah Frazier (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Science Writer
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Music Credit: Killer Tracks

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