Can I Use My Welding Helmet to View The Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse is a rare event that attracts attention from people in the geographical region where it’s taking place. People are often interested in viewing a solar eclipse, but watching an eclipse without the correct method of eye protection can result in permanent eye damage. It is often misleading, and incorrect information about the kind of eye-protection one can use for watching the eclipse. This is why many people go online to get answers to their queries.

Many people head to Google and search, ‘can I use my welding helmet to view the solar eclipse?’ There is no definite answer to this as there are different types of welding helmets available in the market and they offer varying levels of protection. In theory, you can use a welding helmet, but you need to be sure it has the required amount of protection from the harmful rays of the sun during the solar eclipse.

Can I use a welding helmet to watch the solar eclipse?

Welding Helmets for viewing Solar Eclipse Should be Rated Shade 12 or more

Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to keep in mind when you are thinking about using a welding helmet to view a solar eclipse.

  • The Right Shading – Make sure your welding helmet has the right shading that is needed to provide adequate protection from the rays of the sun. If your helmet has shade 12 or higher, you can use it for watching the solar eclipse. A shade 13 would be the best-suited level of protection, but a shade 14 helmet would probably be too dark.
  • Proper Coverage – The helmet should provide complete protection from the rays of the sun, and the viewing window should not be too small either. Make sure there are no cracks or gaps in the viewing window.
  • Correct Method of Viewing – Put on the helmet over your face before looking at the sun and do not take it off while you are viewing the eclipse. Turn your face away and then take off the helmet.

Why Viewing A Solar Eclipse without eye protection is Dangerous.

Eye protection is of maximum importance when trying to view solar eclipse as the rays from the sun can harm the eyes. The power of the sun is much more than the human eye can handle, and the phase of transition of the sun during the eclipse can expose the eye to sudden rays of the sun. While it is common knowledge to not stare directly at the sun, it becomes even more dangerous during the eclipse as staring at the dark phase of eclipse causes the pupil to dilate so that it can let in more light. When the sun suddenly appears from behind the moon, the eye’s pupil is already dilated, and it can damage the eye to a great extent by scorching the retinas.

 

NASA’s Recommendations for Viewing A Solar Eclipse

NASA offers several recommendations for viewing a solar eclipse safely without damaging your eyes. Here’s a quick look at some of the pointers offered by NASA.

  • Avoid using homemade filters as these might not offer the required protection while viewing the eclipse.
  • Make sure your viewing glasses have certification information and ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • Avoid using equipment older than three years for viewing the solar eclipse.
  • If there are scratches or cracks in the lens of the glasses, don’t use them.
  • Avoid using ordinary dark glasses for viewing the solar eclipse.
  • Only use equipment or glasses that are certified for viewing the solar eclipse.

 

Precautions to Take While Viewing A Solar Eclipse

 

A Quality Welding Helmet Is Essential for Viewing Solar Eclipse

It is common sense that viewing an eclipse should not be taken lightly. Make sure you have all the precautions in place and if you plan to view the eclipse through a welding helmet, here are some things you should keep in mind.

  • Make sure your welding helmet is rated highly from shade 12 to shade 13.
  • If you wear glasses, you can wear the helmet over your glasses.
  • Avoid using any kind of binoculars or telescope with the welding helmet.
  • Avoid looking at the eclipse for too long.
  • Make sure you are wearing your welding helmet before looking at the eclipse.

Conclusion

To sum up, you can indeed use welding helmets to view a solar eclipse, you just have to make sure that it is rated highly from shade 12 to shade 13. Also, the helmet should be in good condition, and there should not be any scratches or blemishes on the viewing region.

Most of all, if you have any doubts about the type of equipment you should use for viewing the eclipse, you should consult an expert astronomer for better guidance. An eclipse is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, and by following proper safety guidance and quality equipment, you can view the eclipse without damaging your eyes.

 

References

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

 

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