Topeka optometrist explains eye damage from solar eclipse

Sunday, 20 Aug, 2017

The visibility should be fair to good come eclipse time. The eclipse will only last about two to three minutes for us. It shows what the eclipse will look like form anywhere in the United States and well, it's pretty darn awesome. According to the Great American Eclipse website, Tennessee has the second highest population within driving distance of the path of totality.

When it comes to taking pictures, Stewart said unless you have the proper filters you wouldn't be able to see anything.

A large number of people have decided if they can not find eclipse glasses they will use welding goggles or glasses.

Eclipses occur during the new Moon phase of the Moon's cycle, when it passes between the Earth and the Sun.

The first known records of humans seeing an eclipse date back more than 3,000 years, but people did not begin to understand that Earth revolved around the sun until the 1600s.

If you're driving somewhere to view the eclipse, you need to allow plenty of extra time to get to your destination. Though South Mississippi isn't in that path, we'll still see a partial eclipse - about 82% of it. These work by refocusing the sun's light into a dark space... to make the eclipse more pronounced.

"Even during an eclipse the sun's harmful rays can damage your eyes without you even feeling any pain", he said.

An overcast sky would mean that viewers on the ground would only see darkening conditions while the eclipse itself would be obscured by the clouds but this is an unlikely scenario.

Many of our viewers continue to send us questions regarding Monday's solar eclipse. For a couple minutes, the sun is shadowed by the moon, leaving brief darkness in the area as the moon shadows the sun.

To ensure sky-watchers check out the celestial event safely, Western University is inviting people to the hill in front of University College to view the eclipse through free, safe eclipse glasses. The Maximum Eclipse in the the Tri-State (91 percent) will happen around 2:29 p.m.

"The main effect is in the "radiant heating" component which goes away suddenly at the moment of eclipse and produces a very fast temperature decrease", says NASA. The rest of the US gets a partial eclipse that extends into Canada and to the top of South America. "For that major amount of sun, you can't even look at the sliver of the sun for seconds without damaging your retina".

In this Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 photo, Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City in preparation for the Aug. 21 eclipse.

What is a solar eclipse?

Certified solar glasses are a necessity to properly view the solar eclipse.