When Can I Take My Eclipse Glasses Off? Here's What You Need To Know
If you'd like to get a sense for how people are feeling about having to wear special glasses to view the historic solar eclipse taking place this afternoon, take a scroll through Twitter. The majority of those actually watching the event unfold are cool with protective eyewear for the sake of not going blind and all, but others seem to be a tad peeved, claiming the lenses take away from the experience. And while I can't say I'm particularly bitter about this, there are a handful of those watching the solar eclipse today that can safe time to take eclipse glasses off without the risk of damage.
There is a high risk of permanently damaging your eyesight if you were to sneak a peek at the solar eclipse over a pair of protective lenses. Unfortunately, and this is especially the case with millennials (not in any way excluding myself), forbidding someone to do something only makes them want to do it more. So while, yes, there is a chance you could go blind and that is not in any way, shape, or form funny and should not be tested, I can understand the appeal of breaking the rules for a tiny sec.
If you're located in an area that will only be experiencing a partial eclipse, experts suggest you you're your pair of eclipse glasses on at all times. For the lucky few able to witness totality in all its magnificence, there's a window of opportunity there. Allow me to explain.
There are only 14 states where totality will occur.
According to Eclipse2017.org, the following states are the only ones experiencing brief durations of totality this afternoon: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina.
Residing in any of the above? Congratulations! There's a good chance you're able to whip off those especially-made-for-the-eclipse sunnies and stare straight into the sun.
And, unfortunately, it doesn't last long.
Even if you're lucky enough to experience a total solar eclipse, time is of the essence. Totality can last anywhere from a few seconds to just under three minutes
But again, location is key. Even if you live in any of the previously mentioned states, do your research because each duration weighs heavily on what city you're in.
Some experts even suggest they'd rather stay safe and keep their glasses on throughout than be sorry later.
Clinical adviser of the College of Optometrists Daniel Hardiman-McCartney told Independent UK that whether your'e experiencing a total or partial solar eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the sun "because the radiation emitted [by the sun] is so powerful it may cause long-term harm to the retina." Yikes.
In short, certain areas of the United States will experience totality for a short period of time. So short a period of time, however, that it might not even be worth it to take off your viewer glasses just in case you accidentally look into the sun when the moon starts to move over.
Do what you need to do, but I'll be over here wearing sunnies inside for extreme precautions.