Viewing Safety Guidelines for the Aug. 21 Solar Eclipse

On Aug. 21, members of the UNCW community will have a rare opportunity to experience a nearly total solar eclipse. While there is much excitement about this event, it is important that everyone take precautions to ensure his or her safety during the eclipse.

Do not look directly into the sun, as eye damage may result. Safe viewing will require a special pair of dark glasses that filter out the sun’s damaging rays. Sunglasses are not safe for watching an eclipse. NASA recommends solar-eclipse glasses with an ISO 12312-2 rating. It is not safe to remove the viewing glasses at any time while experiencing the eclipse.

The eclipse will begin around 1:20 p.m. Monday and end at about 4:10 p.m. At 2:48 p.m., the peak of the eclipse in Wilmington, the moon will obscure more than 96 percent of the sun. As the moon moves in front of the sun, be prepared for darkness. Outdoor lights on campus will automatically turn on as the sky darkens, but please turn on headlights and exercise care when walking or driving while the sunlight is obscured. A flashlight is recommended for pedestrians.

Viewing glasses will be available at two events on the UNCW campus:

-       The Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will host a viewing event accompanied by educational activities outside the Education Building. Activities begin at 1 p.m.

-       The Campus Activities and Involvement Center and UNCW Campus Dining will sponsor a “Total Solar Eclipse Party” for the university community on the lawn outside The Hub, UNCW’s newest student dining venue, beginning at 2 p.m.

Below are links to NASA and AAS information on eye safety during the solar eclipse.

For more information:

NASA: Eye Safety During a Solar Eclipse

American Astronomical Society: Eclipse Eye Safety

For additional information about safety guidelines, contact EH&S at 910.962.3057.

-- Tricia Vance