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View the eclipse safely, with guest Robert Fechtner, MD, on Upstate's The Informed Patient podcast

Protect your eyes during the total solar eclipse

People will, and if they can, should, take the opportunity to go out and witness this. It is spectacular, and it is very easy to do it safely.

The total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, can be viewed safely if using specially designed eclipse glasses, but not regular sunglasses, explains ophthalmologist Robert Fechtner, MD. Looking at the sun, even briefly, can cause severe and permanent eye injury, he says, as he describes how to view the eclipse. which will reach totality over much of Central, Northern and Western New York. Fechtner, chair of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Upstate, is looking forward to viewing the rare solar event -- safely.


Stages of a solar eclipse featured over the view of the Upstate downtown campus

How to view the eclipse safely

Take special precautions for eye safety when viewing the eclipse.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers. Eclipse glasses can be obtained at various locations in the community, including the MOST and the I Love New York store at Destiny. If your eclipse glasses are damaged, discard them, do not use them.
  • Ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit far more sunlight than is safe for your eyes.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device.
  • Look for eclipse glasses that are labeled “ISO 12312-2” and have an ISO certification.

Eclipse timetable

In Central New York, the timetable for the solar eclipse is as follows:
  • Start of partial eclipse: 2:09 p.m.
  • Start of total eclipse: 3:23:12 p.m.
  • End of total eclipse: 3:24:15 p.m.
  • End of partial eclipse: 4:34 p.m.
The total eclipse in Syracuse is expect to last approximately one minute.