Get Ready and Keep Your Eyes Safe While Watching the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

April 4, 2024

Get Ready and Keep Your Eyes Safe While Watching the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse.In just four short days, on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America and pass over Mexico, the United States and Canada. As you make your plans to watch the eclipse, safety should be a priority, especially for your eyes.

While North Carolina isn’t in the path of totality, according to NASA, the tar heel state will have around an 80% partial eclipse. Whether you are traveling to see the event or watching from home, it is important to make sure you keep your eyes safe. 

“While this is a fun and memorable experience, it is important to make sure you protect your eyes when viewing the eclipse by wearing approved solar eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar eclipse viewer,” said Dr. Atalie Thompson, an ophthalmologist at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and assistant professor of ophthalmology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. “People who view the eclipse without the proper protective eyewear can experience serious permanent damage to their eyes, a condition called solar retinopathy, which can cause blindness.”

The American Astronomical Society publishes a list of approved vendors of eclipse glasses and viewers. Solar eclipse glasses have special filters that meet the International Organization of Standardization (ISO 12312-2). 

“It is important to buy eclipse glasses and viewers from these vetted vendors and to check the glasses ahead of time to make sure there are not any scratches on the lens or defects,” said Thompson. 

Thompson and NASA have the following tips:

  • Make sure you wear the proper solar eclipse glasses or use an approved handheld solar eclipse viewer to protect your eyes while watching the eclipse
  • Never look directly at the sun, especially without proper eye protection
  • Do not view the eclipse through sunglasses
  • Never view the eclipse through a camera lens, phone, binoculars, or telescope
  • Remember to wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing to protect your skin

If you can’t watch the eclipse or are worried about eye safety, NASA will have a live stream of the event. 

Media contacts: 

Jenna Kurzyna,
Joe McCloskey,