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.READ MORE: Single-Engine Plane Catches Fire After Crash Near Big Bear City Airport
“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.”READ MORE: Southern Californians Expected To Travel In Big Numbers Over Fourth Of July Weekend
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.MORE NEWS: LA County Board Of Supervisors Extends Eviction Moratorium Through Sept. 30
The American Astronomical Society has put out a list of reputable vendors.