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I have heard that if you look at a solar eclipse (right at that moment)it is really dangerous. If this is true, why? Is it kind of the same idea as looking directly at the sun?
Question Date: 2004-03-13
Answer 1:

The sun emits something like 3 x 1026 Joules per second of energy. This is equivalent to a light bulb that is 1026 Watts!!!! So even though the intensity of sunlight falls off with distance according to 1/R2, the intensity of raw unfiltered sunlight is enough to burn out the cornea.

You should NEVER look directly at the sun. Simply put, the flux of photons is overwhelming and it will overload your vision system ...i.e. you will go blind!!! Even in partial eclipse, enough light is still intercepted to be dangerous.

There are ways (filters) that can be used...but don't risk fooling around with this unless you know what you are doing. Anyway, there is little to be gained looking at the sun. Consult the magazine ASTRONOMY or SKY AND TELESCOPE (available at BORDERS). To get a listing of solar and lunar eclipses and also info on how the SAFELY view the solar ones. The lunar ones are always safe since the light reflected from the moon is low intensity....

Good luck.

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