August 10, 2017

View of the sun during a full moon eclipse

On August 21, 2017 all of North America will be able to experience a solar eclipse. Some areas of the United States will be able to experience a total solar eclipse. In Ottawa, we will be able to experience a partial solar eclipse starting at 1:17pm and ending at 3:48pm. The maximum will be at 2:35pm with about 61% of the sun being obscured.

How to view an eclipse:

  • Through ISO certified glasses or filters. Look for the standard ISO 12312-2 which must be printed somewhere on the glasses or filters.
  • Through #14 Welder’s glass. If you don’t know the type of Welder’s glass, don’t use it!
  • Place glasses or filters over your eyes before you look at the sun and remove them only after looking away from the sun.

Do not view the eclipse with the naked eye, through sunglasses, or even stacked glasses. The rays of light coming from the sun are no more dangerous during an eclipse than during normal circumstances. However, there’s a higher chance of damaging your eyes during an eclipse because of the reduced brightness, which allows you to view the sun for longer periods of time without sensing any pain.

Damage to your eyes caused by viewing an eclipse without proper protection can be temporary or permanent. Solar retinopathy can occur without any pain or discomfort. Do not hesitate to contact your optometrist if you think your eyes have been damaged or you experience any changes in vision after having viewed the eclipse.

If you’re unable to safely view this year’s solar eclipse your next chance to view a solar eclipse in Ottawa will be April 8, 2024. Keep your eclipse glasses ready for that date as we can expect the sun to be 98.95% obscured during that eclipse!

Dr. Nathan Stolch, Optometrist

About the Author
Dr. Nathan Stolch

Dr. Nathan Stolch graduated from the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry in 2008 on the Dean’s Honours List. He received the L.M. Newell Clinical Optometry Prize and the Optometric Services Inc. award for Excellence in Practice Management. Dr. Stolch joined eyeDOCS in 2008 and became a partner in 2010. For more information about Dr. Stolch and his specialized interests relating to optometry, click here.