Can You Look at the Solar Eclipse Through a Window?

solar eclipse window

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If you are interested in looking at Monday’s solar eclipse, you may be wondering if there are any safe ways to do so without wearing those special glasses that you’ve probably seen all over the internet.

One very popular question seems to be whether or not it is safe to view the eclipse through a window if you don’t have glasses. Some people think that being inside and having a layer of glass from a window pane separating them from the sun’s rays is safe, but that’s not actually the case.

It is not safe to view the eclipse through a window, even if you are inside your home or car. A glass pane will not protect your eyes from the potentially damaging solar rays, according to Bustle.

“The light from the sun is very intense and concentrated into a very small area, and then that light is converted into heat and that heat cooks the retina. So you have a permanent area that you don’t see, a permanent blind spot,” Joel Schuman, chair of ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health, told VOX last week.

Contrary to what you might believe, looking directly at the sun, even for a minute, can damage your eyesight. While not every person who does this will absolutely go blind, Schuman explains what the sun can do to your retina — and what your eyesight might be like after the damage has been done.

“[It would be like] looking at someone and being able see their face — but not their nose,” he said.

In addition, you should not view the solar eclipse using regular sunglasses, binoculars, telescopes, or cameras — including cell phone cameras, Bustle reports.

If you do not have solar eclipse sunglasses and you’d like to view today’s event, try making a pinhole projector out of a box at home. You can find instructions here.

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