It goes without saying that extreme caution should be taken when attempting to look at the sun. You should never under any circumstances look directly at the sun without the appropriate protective eyewear. Eclipse shades will no doubt become a popular choice when viewing the partial eclipse. These are safe as long as they are used properly. Be sure to look away from the direction of the sun before putting eclipse shades on or taking them off. Take care of them and check for any scratch marks or holes. Any damage to the protective film will render them useless against the sun’s damaging rays. Even the slightest amount of sunlight escaping through the film could damage your eyes. Remember, your eyes do not have nerves capable of warning you of any damage being done to your retina.
This is a much safer method of viewing the partial phases of the eclipse. It’s a very simple method of projecting the sun on to a piece of card or a shaded surface via a pinhole. The results can be quite pleasing and allows groups of people to witness the eclipse as it progresses.
A similar method can also be used by using a telescope which involves projecting the sun’s rays via the telescope eyepiece on to a white piece of card. Another word of caution though as the eyepiece will be subjected to the sun’s heat over a period of time. The best advice is to use a cheap or spare eyepiece that you don’t mind rendering useless afterwards. Leaving the telescope uncovered throughout the whole eclipse will pretty much guarantee damage to the inside of the eyepiece.
If you do not have a safe method of viewing the eclipse or it’s clouded out, there is always the option of viewing our very own live webcast courtesy of the Slooh Observatory.