When can I take off my eclipse glasses?

KREM 2's Evan Noorani does some fact checking to see when people can take their eclipse glasses off.

SPOKANE, Wash --- If you live in or around Spokane you should not take your eclipse glasses off for the entirety of the eclipse, on Monday.

Some people have been wondering if they can take their eclipse glasses off during the brief two-minute interval where the moon completely eclipses the sun. The answer is no, because Spokane and the surrounding areas will only see about 90% of the eclipse. That means there will always be a small sliver of sun visible in our area, and experts said it is enough to cause damage to your eyes.

People within the 70-mile path of totality can take their glasses off during the time the moon is entirely blocking the sun, because they will get 100% of the eclipse.

The retina is the part of the eye that runs the risk of the most damage. Our eyes are able to focus on light at different levels. The eclipse sends a high amount of damaging light toward us, and looking at any amount of it can permanently scar your retina. While anyone in the path of totality can take off their glasses for that brief total eclipse, there is no time in our viewing area that will be safe to take off your glasses.

Remember, binoculars, telescopes and cameras will not replace the need for eclipse glasses. The lenses on these objects can only magnify the potential damage.

The partial eclipse in Spokane begins at 9:13 a.m. and ends at 11:46 a.m, so you will need to keep your glasses on for the whole two and a half hours.

Our maximum eclipse, when 90% of the sun will be covered, happens around 10:27 a.m.

You can visit the website of the American Astronomical Society for a list of retail chains and online vendors that carry those certified glasses. You are advised to check before you go to the store, because many of these stores are already sold out.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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