As you know, Monday, August 21st is the date for a total (near total here) eclipse of the sun. The eclipse will last from 1:18-4:14 p.m. in our area with the height of the eclipse taking place at 2:50 p.m. As there is inherent danger in viewing an eclipse with the naked eye and the time is near dismissal, the decision has been made to close school early that day. We will be dismissing at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will not be served. We strongly encourage you to keep your child at home that day to avoid any chance of eye damage. If you choose to keep your child home for the day, it will be an excused absence.
If you are planning on viewing the eclipse, we encourage you to research ways of safely watching the eclipse and ensuring you and your children do not view it without protection.
Some reminders from CNN health news are listed here.
There’s one thing you shouldn’t do, and that’s look at the sun with your naked eye.
The only time you can look at the sun with your naked eye is A) if you’re in the path of totality, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon, and B) during those two minutes or less when the sun is completely covered.
**We are NOT in the path of totality in Tampa.
Otherwise, any glimpse of the sun’s brightness is not only uncomfortable, it’s dangerous.
What happens if you ignore the warnings?
Looking directly at the powerful brightness of the sun can cause damage to the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye.
“When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it,” said Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. “If the exposure is great enough, that can and will lead to permanent reduction in vision and even blindness.”
The retina may translate light into an electrical impulse that the brain understands, but one thing it can’t translate to your brain is pain. So even if you’re excited about the eclipse and think one brief glimpse at the sun before it completely hides behind the moon is worth it — it’s not. There’s no internal trigger that is going to let you know that you’ve looked at the sun for too long. Any amount of looking at it is too long. Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.