WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Don’t use sunglasses to watch the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 or you will damage your vision.

That is the warning from UCLA Professor Jean-Luc Margot, a planetary scientist.

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“The only way to look safely at the sun during a partial solar eclipse is to have proper solar filters,” says Margot.

Filters can come in low-cost eclipse glasses or fancier models which can be purchased online.

Without solar filters, he says you could burn your retinas — causing blindness.

Solar telescopes also available online are another option.

“These are built specifically to look at the sun,” says Margot. “They have a large solar filter at the front. They are about a hundred dollars.”

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If that’s not in your budget you can make a pinhole camera — a poking a hole in any paper.

“You would face your back toward the sun and you would just have the light of the sun going through the hole, making a projected image and you’ll see the eclipse that way,” explained Margot.

He says pets should be fine — they don’t tend to look at the sun.

In all the eclipse will last about two hours. Southern Californians will see a partial eclipse. The path of totality — where the moon completely blocks the sun — will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina with 12 states in between.

Professor Margot says there have been reports of scammers selling bad solar glasses, which could be dangerous.

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The American Astronomical Society has put out a list of reputable vendors.