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Can You Really Go Blind from Staring at the Sun?

The Sun is located about 93 million miles (150 million km) away from Earth, but looking directly at our solar system’s heat and light source can still cause serious eye damage. The damage occurs when photons, or light particles, create free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can poison and kill cells. This is specifically detrimental to the fovea, an area of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. People with solar retinopathy may suffer from blurry vision or a centralized blind spot.

Blinded by the light:

  • Although it can be very harmful, staring at the Sun is not likely to cause total blindness. Solar retinopathy typically doesn't damage peripheral vision.

  • People are advised to use eye protection when viewing the total solar eclipse in August 2017. Specially-designed “eclipse glasses” and handheld viewers with solar filters can help shield your eyes.

  • At least four manufacturers are selling certified eclipse glasses and solar viewers. Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17 are recommended by the American Astronomical Society.

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More Info: Live Science

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