The total solar eclipse is happening on April 8, 2024, and it will be a mind-boggling experience as Cleveland gets plunged into darkness for nearly 4 minutes. The Sun is extinguished by the Moon’s shadow during totality, as if night falls within seconds.
The excitement builds slowly over the partial eclipse phase. The land and sky are transformed, and an ominous feeling arises as totality approaches.
Is it safe to look at the sun during a Total Solar Eclipse?
Throughout this unfolding drama, there is a strong urge to look at the Sun. But you’ve got to think about safety first. The sun is much too bright to view without eye protection. Staring at the Sun can damage your retinas, resulting in vision loss — a terrible outcome of witnessing the most spectacular natural phenomenon on Earth.
Thankfully, there is a safe method of eclipse viewing. Several companies manufacture solar viewers specially designed for looking directly at the Sun. These glasses block out most of the Sun’s bright light and all of the harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation. So, they’re a must-have for all phases of the eclipse. They’re so dark that you can’t see anything but the Sun! The glaring Sun appears as a soft orange disc, making it safe and comfortable to observe.
What you need to know about Solar Eclipse Glasses
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established safety requirements for solar viewers under ISO 12312-2:2015. All legitimate manufacturers sell solar viewers that conform to this standard. But for events of this magnitude, it’s easy to acquire viewers that do not meet the standard like during the total solar eclipse of 2017 with reports of unsafe solar viewers. Defective viewers from unreliable sources were fraudulently marked as conforming with the ISO standard. For the 2024 eclipse, take great care in acquiring safe solar viewers from reputable sellers.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) maintains a list of Suppliers of Safe Solar Filters & Viewers — trusted manufacturers and distributors proven to sell solar viewers conforming to the ISO standard. Do not buy solar viewers from any online vendor who does not meet this standard.
Safety First: Grab "Eclipse Over Cleveland Glasses
You can find Cleveland-branded 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Glasses manufactured by Rainbow Symphony, an AAS-approved manufacturer of solar viewers that you can buy in packs of 10 to 100 for your own viewing party. (You can also use these to look at the Sun even when there’s no eclipse. If conditions are right, you can see sunspots!)
Cleveland is close to the centerline of the path, offering a long duration of totality during the 2024 Solar Eclipse. Stay over the weekend leading up to the big event on Monday so you can stop by world-famous museums and entertainment venues, explore our excellent park systems, and try local restaurants that’ll make you plan another visit. Even the NCAA Women’s Final Four is in town for this astronomical event. See why Cleveland is The Land of Going All Out.