blacklogo_orangetext.gif (13932 bytes)    Solar Eclipse safety code

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUNLooking at the Sun at any time is potentially dangerous and can result in serious eye damage or blindness.

The safest way to view the Sun is indirectly using a projection method, e.g. pinhole projection or mirror projection.

bullet.gif (729 bytes) You may view the Sun directly only through a special filter made for safe solar viewing. If you are not certain a filter is approved and safe or you have any other doubts - DO NOT USE IT.

Before using a solar filter:

  1. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  2. Make sure filters have a "CE" mark approved for direct solar viewing. Be alert for forgeries.
  3. Check filters carefully for any damage.
  4. DO NOT use filters if they are scuffed, scratched or have holes in them.

How to use a solar filter:

Hold the special filter firmly over both your eyes BEFORE looking up at the Sun, and don’t remove it until AFTER looking away. The Sun should look quite dim and the sky should be completely black - if this is not the case then DO NOT USE THE FILTER.

If you are within the zone of totality on 11 August 1999 - the Scilly Isles, most of Cornwall, southern Devon and Alderney - the Moon will completely cover the Sun's brilliant disk for up to two minutes. This is the total eclipse.

ONLY THEN it is SAFE to view the totality eclipsed Sun directly WITHOUT any filter and admire the faint and beautiful corona: the Sun's pearly-white outer atmosphere.

But DO be alert to the reappearance of the Sun's brilliant disk at the end of the total phase, As soon as the first light of the Sun has reappeared, producing a spectacular 'diamond ring,' you MUST LOOK AWAY IMMEDIATELY and use the special filters once more.

Further information on all aspects of the solar eclipse are available elsewhere on this website or by telephoning the National Eclipse Line on 0345 600 444.

Safety filters are available here.

This information is provided in good faith as a public service. It is based on information provided by the International Astronomical Union. For more information see also here.

Viewing the sun is dangerous. Those doing so do it at their own risk. The authors of this code and their employees do not accept any liability for any injury which may arise.