Solar eclipse 2017: NASA has provided safety tips (guidelines) for the space enthusiasts as it is never safe to look directly at the sun’s rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. It is advised by the space agency that the star gazers should wear eclipse glasses at all times if they want to look directly at the sun during the process of obscuring. In 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 your glasses back on. Since most people would not know the exact time, it is safer to keep them on indefinitely.
Here are the different phases of the Total Solar Eclipse 2017:
1) As the moon moves in front of the sun, there comes a time when there is a single bright spot left – a bright spot that, in combination with the atmosphere of the sun is still visible around the moon, looks like a giant diamond ring.
2) As the moon continues to move, the bright spot may break up into several points of light that shine around the moon’s edges which is known as Baily’s Beads. During Bailey’s Beads the light rays from the sun stream through the valleys along the moon’s horizon. Baily’s Beads are very short-lived, and may not last long enough to be noticeable to all observers of the total solar eclipse. WARNING! It is not safe to look at the sun at this point! People can look at the sun only when these spots completely disappear.
3) Once Baily’s Beads disappear and there is no longer any direct sunlight coming toward you, you may look at the total eclipse safely. But you must still be vigilant to make sure you protect your eyes again before the end of totality. The entire total eclipse will only last for two minutes and 40 seconds.
4) As the moon continues to move across the face of the sun, you will begin to see brightening on the opposite side from where the diamond ring shone at the beginning. This is the lower atmosphere of the sun, beginning to peek out from behind the moon and it is your signal by the heavenly bodies to stop looking at them directly. Make sure you have safety glasses back on – or are otherwise watching the eclipse through a safe, indirect method – before the first flash of sunlight appears around the edges of the moon.
5) Once your eyes are protected again, you may continue to watch the final stages of the eclipse as the end process mirrors the beginning: You will once again see Baily’s Beads and then a diamond ring, before the entire sun is once again visible.
ALERT: The fake eclipse glasses are flooding the market. To know if the glasses that you have are authentic look out for a small ‘ISO’ sign on the glass. Alternative methods like using of a pinhole projector is another way to witness the eclipse.