While millions are heading to Oregon this weekend to witness the nation’s first total solar eclipse since 1979, those staying on Vashon will be able to see a nearly complete — 92 percent — eclipse Monday.
The moon will begin its journey to obscure the sun at 9:08 a.m., reaching maximum obscuration around 10:20 a.m. The eclipse will end just after 11 a.m., according to NASA’s eclipse map. But the eclipse cannot be watched with the naked eye, or even with conventional sunglasses, due to the sun’s damaging radiation. Looking directly at the sun without proper protection can cause permanent damage to photoreceptors — rods and cones — the specialized cells that are found in the retina. Special eclipse glasses that block most of the sun’s light are available at the Vashon Pharmacy or online, just be sure to check glasses bought online are authentic and approved by NASA or the American Astronomical Society.
Those viewing the eclipse also should not look through camera lenses or telescopes unless they are equipped with a solar filter. Smart phone cameras are OK to use with proper eyewear.