- Education and Science»
- Astronomy & Space Exploration
Eclipse safety during the total solar eclipse: Australia 2012
A solar eclipse, where the moon passes in front of the sun, is a beautiful but also a dangerous phenomenon. Staring at the sun to watch an eclipse exposes your eyes to intensely bright light that can cause permanent damage to the retina (the sensitive cells at the back of the eye).
Fortunately, you can enjoy the 2012 Australia eclipse safely by using an eclipse viewer or eclipse glasses.
Solar Eclipses 2012
The next solar eclipse will happen on 14 November, 2012. There will be a total solar eclipse in Cairns, Australia, while other parts of Australia will see a partial solar eclipse. Both total eclipses and partial eclipses are dangerous to watch unless you have protective glasses.
The Dangers of Solar Eclipses
If you plan on watching the 2012 solar eclipse in Cairns, you need to make sure that you have adequate protection for your eyes. Staring directly at the sun can severely damage the light-sensitive cells in your eyes. Intense radiation from the sun burns the retina, leading to a blind spot that can be temporary or even permanent in the most serious cases. UV rays in sunlight can also trigger the development of cataracts, which cloud the vision and have to be fixed through surgery.
How to Safely Enjoy the November 2012 Cairns Eclipse
You can buy eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while you watch the eclipse in Cairns in November 2012. When buying eclipse glasses, check for an official certification mark, which guarantees that the glasses will protect your eyes.
Eclipse glasses contain aluminium film, which filters out a lot of the sunlight so that your eyes are protected. Welding glasses that contain oxy-acetylene are also suitable for eclipse viewing.
Buy Eclipse Glasses
Eclipses in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy
- Australian Aboriginal Astronomy
In Australian Aboriginal Astronomy, the moon is regarded as male and the sun female. An eclipse is thought of as the moon man embracing the sun woman.