How to safely view the eclipse as special glasses sell out in SE Wisconsin

Posted at 9:46 PM, Aug 15, 2017

Special glasses needed to watch the upcoming solar eclipse are getting harder to find, but there are other ways to safely view the astronomical phenomenon.  

Stores in our area are selling out. And it's not just a suggestion you use the eclipse glasses, it is doctor's orders. Do not look at the sun Monday without them.

'There is no period when I am looking at it unprotected would be safe," said Dr. Thomas Connor, an ophthalmologist at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

The problem, according to Conner, you will not feel any pain to warn you the sun is damaging your eyes.

"It's ratcheted down, the sun's brightness, so you actually can stare at it without blinking because it's so bright. But what's left over is still giving ultra violet radiation," said Connor.

You can end up with permanent dead spots in your vision or blindness.

"I don't want you to look at the light because it would burn the inside of your eye," said Conner.

Another important note according to Conner, do not dig out old eclipse glasses. They need to be new, less than three years old because solar glasses can expire over time.

But what if you don't have any?

The Milwaukee Public Museum is offering some at their viewing party Monday during the eclipse. They will also have some special viewing telescopes with filters on them. Or if you cannot get there there are some homemade options according to the director of the planetarium Bob Bonadurer.

"Some fun eclipse tricks are just shining a light through a little pinhole, any little hole on a notecard. Or you can use your hands or a colander," said Bonadurer.

You hold any of those items out in front of you over a white piece of paper and watch the eclipse on the ground. Do not hold any of the objects up at look at the sun.

If you are still looking for eclipse glasses make sure you look for ones that are certified. They should have a ISO logo on it.