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    Stressing Solar Eclipse Safety from Naval Hospital Bremerton

    Stressing Solar Eclipse Safety from Naval Hospital Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Beware the Eyes of April…with the total solar eclipse, April 8, 2024, NHB/NMRTC...... read more read more

    For Roger Smith, the upcoming solar eclipse is not to be missed.

    The Naval Hospital Bremerton IT support and clinical liaison will drive to the expected path of totality to experience the full celestial phenomena, April 8, 2024.

    His trip planning is centered on safety. He’ll be equipped with eclipse glasses which are safety certified by the International Organization of Standardization, along with filters.

    “Even specially designed solar view binoculars,” said Smith, an astronomy aficionado of long standing.

    Smith’s awareness of proper protection to observe the event echoes that of NHB’s leading optometrist who urges everyone to protect their eyes from injury during the solar eclipse.

    The total solar eclipse - with the moon passing between the sun and earth – will completely block the face of the sun and cross the United States passing over 13 states.

    Cmdr. Michael Buyske, Navy Medicine Readiness Training Unit Bangor optometrist, stresses for anyone planning on viewing the celestial event should use an appropriate solar eclipse filter, especially children.

    “From an eye care standpoint, the major concern is the potential for eye damage as a result of looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection,” said Buyske.

    The eclipse will begin at 10:39 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and peak at 11:30 a.m., before ending at 12:25 p.m. local time. Washington state will see a partial solar eclipse as it sits outside the path of totality. Navy Region Northwest and the entirety of the Puget Sound region will see about 20 percent totality during the solar eclipse, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    Buyske attests that viewing the solar eclipse can be done safely, “and comfortably using approved solar viewing glasses or indirect viewing methods. Additionally, it’s important to avoid homemade filters or sunglasses, as they may not provide adequate protection.”

    “If interested in viewing the eclipse you need to proactively obtain the appropriate lenses. Viewing the eclipse without the appropriate glasses can cause solar retinopathy which damages the center of vision permanently,” added Lt. Cmdr. Shamis Fallah, NHB comprehensive ophthalmologist.

    Smith is ready. He’s been preparing for this for a few years with an expected drive of 28 to 31 hours to get to an undisclosed locale.

    “Along with safety considerations, there is a lot to plan in undertaking something like this. There’s traffic congestion, overcrowding in population areas, and every gas station, grocery store and restaurant along the path will probably be overwhelmed. Even cell [phone] carriers are bringing in temporary towers. Once we get there, it’ll be worth it. Four minutes and 20 seconds, then drive home,” exclaimed Smith.

    Buyske recommends adhering to applicable advice for everyone, such as the following tips recommended by the American Optometric Association for viewing the total solar eclipse:

    1. Use approved solar eclipse viewers. The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Sunglasses, smoked glass, unfiltered telescopes or magnifiers, and polarizing filters are unsafe. Inspect any type of eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use – if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device.

    2. Follow this totality technique. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up. After viewing, turn away and remove your glasses or viewer — do not remove them while looking at the sun. If you normally wear eyeglasses, wear your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

    3. Totality awesome. Only within the path of totality—and once the moon completely blocks the sun—can eclipse viewers or glasses safely be removed to view totality. Once the sun begins reappearing, however, viewers must be replaced.

    4. Visit your optometrist. If you should experience discomfort or vision problems following the eclipse, visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination.

    The U.S. hasn’t experienced a total solar eclipse since August 21, 2017, although a “ring of fire” solar eclipse crossed a part of the country last October 2023.

    Eager eclipse enthusiasts will have to exercise some patience. The next total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. won’t occur until August 23, 2044. For over a century, this cosmic coincidence has inspired art and scientific advancement.



    Date Taken: 04.03.2024
    Date Posted: 04.03.2024 18:03
    Story ID: 467724

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