On August 21, 2017, the world will witness a spectacular eclipse. Those who are lucky enough to be in the path of totality will get to see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring performances: a total solar eclipse. However, everyone in North America will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun. In order to be prepared for how to view Solar Eclipse 2017 I am sharing the best glasses, lenses, and binoculars to see it safely.
As you can imagine, special equipment is needed to view a solar eclipse. Looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection can cause serious damage and even blindness. However, with the right glasses, lenses, and binoculars, anybody can safely enjoy looking directly into the eclipse.
Solar Eclipse Glasses
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According to NASA, the lenses of eclipse glasses are made from special solar filters that are hundreds of times darker than regular sunglasses. When worn, the only object visible through these glasses is the sun.
There are many models of eclipse glasses on the internet. This set at Steve Spangler Science is one that meets the international standard for eye protection. Plus they come with a little booklet about the eclipse! Order by August 15 to be sure they arrive on time.
As soon as these arrive in the mail, slip them on and enjoy viewing the sun directly! We ordered our set a few weeks ago and have enjoyed trying them out on sunny days. We are looking forward to using them on August 21.
Telescopes, binoculars, and cameras need their own special solar filters. Solar-viewing glasses alone are not sufficient for viewing magnified sunlight. Even if you are wearing eclipse glasses, viewing the sun through binoculars or a telescope will cause serious eye damage if the device is not equipped with its own special filter.
Luckily, there are special sets of binoculars that are made just for events like this!
I like the price of these Celestron binoculars, but they are made as eclipse binoculars, meaning they are only made for viewing the sun. Pretty cool if sun spots are your thing, but I find this set a bit limiting.
These binoculars manufactured by Meade are still wallet-friendly, but they have a removable solar filter. Keep the filter on for the eclipse and for viewing sun spots and solar events, but take the filter off to observe the moon, planets, and stars. Since these are more functional and have a wider range of use, I would be more likely to purchase this set.
The world of telescopes seems similar to that of binoculars.
One telescope made by Celestron is ideal for solar events. It is less than $100 and seems like a decent machine with good reviews.
However, this telescope made by Meade comes with removable solar filters. View the eclipse and other solar events with the filters and then take them off to view the night sky. For the difference in price, I think the Meade telescope beats the competition.
Solar Camera Lens
If you want to preserve the solar eclipse for decades to come, be sure to purchase this special camera lens manufactured by Marumi. Not only can you photograph the sun and the eclipse directly, but you can also use this neutral density filter to capture brilliant landscape and water images. It gives the photographer a large degree of control over the exposure. It’s a must-have filter for serious photographers.
How to View Solar Eclipse 2017
For those who want to view the solar eclipse indirectly, making a pinhole camera is a great idea. NASA has thorough instructions for how to make a pinhole camera on their website. NASA has also published a guide on how to view a solar eclipse safely, along with tons of other details about the path of the upcoming solar eclipse.
Grab this guide to the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 to learn all about what makes this event so special and to see amazing photographs. I just read the sample on Amazon and I’m already hooked.
And don’t forget the kids! Be sure to order a solar eclipse activity book to get them engaged and excited! We just ordered two of these for our 5-year-old and 8-year-old. They’ll bring the books, we’ll bring all the eclipse glasses and solar lenses!
I would love to hear about your experiences viewing the solar eclipse in just a few short weeks. Be sure to leave a comment or hop over to Facebook to share a picture!