In 1962, a teenager in Oregon named Lou Tomososki and a friend both made the mistake of looking directly at a partial solar Eclipse without any protective eyewear.
For those in the path of “totality,” when the moon completely blocks the sun’s face and reveals its corona, it will be safe for a few minutes to look directly at the eclipse with your naked eyes, according to NASA .
Because you can’t see that type of light, and because your retina—the light-sensitive tissue lining inside your eye—doesn’t have pain receptors, the damage can occur without you even knowing it.
In excess, as happens when your eye gets hit with a direct shot of sunlight, those atoms can destroy your retinal tissue.
The article’s authors cite a 1999 study of eclipse burns from the UK that photochemical toxicity was the more frequent cause of sun-induced retina damage, known as “solar retinopathy.”
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