Eclipse Fact and Fiction: 5 things to know before you watch the sun

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-19 14:44:44-04

DENVER – The Great American Eclipse is just days away but there may be some things you think you know, some things you are not sure of, and some things you believe that are just plain lies.

1. You will not be able to see the total solar eclipse from Colorado

FACT: We would not include this item on this list, if it weren’t for the fact that we’re getting calls into the newsroom asking where people can see the total solar eclipse in Colorado.

You will not be able to see the total solar eclipse from Colorado, as our state is not in the viewing area for the so-called “path of totality.” Denver will only see about 92 percent of the sun covered by the moon, creating a crescent moon type of view for spectators.

RELATED: Want to see 100 percent of the total solar eclipse? Head to Wyoming

If you can’t make it to Wyoming, you can check out Colorado’s best and worst viewing locations based on totality.

2. Looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse without proper protection will damage your eyes

FACT: Looking directly at the sun, even when the moon’s shadow is covering it for a brief period of time, will most definitely, 100 percent, no-questions-asked, damage your eyes.

You may think that the moon’s shadow will work as a shield from harmful UV rays, but you’d be wrong. Even when the moon’s shadow is over the sun, UV rays are still making their way through the earth’s atmosphere and all that radiation will most certainly damage your eyes permanently if you’re not wearing proper protection.

MORE: How to safely watch the 2017 Great American Eclipse

3. You can use any type of sunglasses, or shielding helmets to view the Great American Eclipse

FACT: You may think looking directly at the sun with sunglasses will be enough to protect you from the deadly rays of the sun, but you’d be wrong.

Staring directly at the sun for any amount of time (even if you have sunglasses) poses a danger to your eyesight.

Also, not all eclipse viewing glasses are made the same. Some people have been buying fake eclipse viewing glasses that will permanently damage their eyes through Amazon.

First Alert Weather Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson tells us you should make sure the glasses you use meet the proper requirements and have labeling that states they are certified. Note: Even if they have a certified label, you should check out NASA’s website for a list of manufacturers that are trustworthy, as some people have been selling fake eclipse glasses with a fake certified label.

4. Taking pictures of the solar eclipse won’t damage your smartphone camera

FACT: Not so far there, Sparky! NASA officials say there’s some debate about whether the bright rays of the sun will damage a smartphone camera.

Most photographers say brief exposure should be fine, but we aware that cellphone cameras aren’t manufactured to take pictures of the sky.

NASA has some tips for using a phone camera here.

5. We will never again see a total solar eclipse in the U.S. after 2017

FACT: For some strange reason, rumors are spreading around the internet that this will be the last solar eclipse you’ll ever see in the United States.

That’s just not true. The next solar eclipse will be visible in the U.S. in 2024 and after that, in 2045.


Tips on how, where to see the Great American Eclipse

Free solar eclipse glasses at 50 Colo. locations

Traveling to Wyoming for the eclipse? Leave your weed at home

CDOT warns of ‘traffic headache’ during eclipse

CSP: Traffic surge could overwhelm cell towers

Government: Public lands perfect to view eclipse

Can’t find glasses? Here are other ways to view the eclipse

DIA handing out free solar eclipse glasses, more