The July 13 eclipse is particularly unusual because it is occurring on Friday the 13th, a date that has long been considered unlucky by popular culture. According to NASA, there has not been a solar eclipse on Friday the 13th since December 13, 1974. The next partial eclipse that will occur on Friday the 13th will take place on September 13, 2080. A solar eclipse takes place when the moon traverses between the earth and the sun, blocking it partially or fully from view. And as per the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses, the moon will only cover about 10 percent of the sun on Friday.
Can you look at the Sun with your naked eye?
If you happen to live in an area where the eclipse is going to be visible, you must never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection, else, you may seriously damage your eyes and even go blind. According to the US space agency NASA, the only safe way to watch a solar eclipse is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. NASA says homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. Here are a few tips to help you view the celestial event without harming your eyes:
Never watch any solar eclipse through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices.
Also Read - Lunar eclipse: Is safe to see or you need special glasses to watch the 'total lunar eclipse'?
Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer. This is important because the concentrated solar rays can damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Experts warned that looking at the Sun with a naked eye may cause macular degeneration or - at it's worst - permanent blindness.
If you are planning to watch it, get special eclipse glasses or telescope filters that effectively reduce the sun's brightness and block its damaging ultraviolet and infrared rays.
NASA also recommends seeking expert guidance from an astronomer before using any solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
Make sure to inspect your solar filter before use - if scratched or damaged, discard it. Don't forget to read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Note that your eclipse glasses or viewers are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard.
If you normally wear eyeglasses, you should put your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
If eclipse glasses and filters are not available, an alternative way for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is a pinhole projection.
When you are done watching the eclipse, turn away and remove your filter – you must not remove it while looking at the sun.
Meanwhile, the month of July turns out to be a luck for space enthusiasts across the world as Friday’s eclipse will be followed by longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, the Blood Moon eclipse, which will occur on July 27, 2018. On July 31, 2018, Mars will come closest to earth in 15 years. The next solar eclipse of 2018 will take place on 11th August.