This year on August 21 in many parts of our country there will be a major solar eclipse. The moon will briefly be directly in front of the sun and in those lucky areas with totality, the sky will actually briefly become dark.

With darker skies and the sun hidden behind the moon, you might think that heck, why not look directly at our closest star, the sun? After all, the moon is blocking out most of the sunlight.

This is definitely not a good idea. Permanent damage to your eyes can occur within seconds and at first be painless if you look directly at the sun, eclipse or not. This is because there is enough solar radiation which makes it around the moon to cause a lot of eye injury.

There are special glasses (and no not regular sunglasses) which are made specially for solar eclipses and, like everything else in this world, are sold through Amazon. These glasses and or filters are relatively cheap and allow you to safely view the entire eclipse. Of course you probably only wear the glasses once, since the next similar such solar eclipse won’t occur for several decades.

Remember also that if you live in or near an area with a partial and not total eclipse the same rules apply: Never look directly at the sun unless you have specially made glasses or filter in front of your eyes!