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Name: doris kober
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
WHY ARE WE ONLY WARNED NOT TO LOOK AT THE SUN DURING AN ECLIPSE, BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE IT COULD CAUSE YOUR RETINA


Replies:
It's almost impossible to stare at the uneclipsed sun long enough to do damage to the retina; our reflexes make us shut our eyes and turn away. So there's no real need for a warning about doing this. With the recent annular eclipse, though: at places where there was only a ring of sun around the moon, that ring may not have been bright enough to make a person look away before damage occurred (perhaps a ring-shaped burn on the retinas). That was the reason for all the warnings. In a true total solar eclipse, ALL of the sun is blocked by the moon, and at totality it IS safe to look directly at it. (By the way, there won't be a total solar eclipse visible in the United States until the year 2017.)

RC Winther



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