If clouds partially obscure the much anticipated eclipse, is it safe to look?

Image courtesy of NASA.gov, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — You’ve waited. And waited. Finally the big day is here. Eclipse 2017, the first total solar eclipse to cross the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 99 years. You’ve got your glasses. Your solar telescope. Your pinhole viewer. Stepping outside, you look up at the sky.

Clouds. Nothing but clouds.

Read more: Total Solar Eclipse: Are you ready for this once in a lifetime opportunity?

That could very well be the scenario Monday as the highly anticipated solar eclipse travels across North America. The weather forecast is none too promising.

The National Weather Service is calling for mostly cloudy skies Monday throughout Southern Utah. While there might be breaks in the clouds at times, it certainly looks as if our normally unobstructed view of the sun will be obscured between 10:11 a.m. and 12:56 p.m, the prime viewing times.

Which gives rise to a very important question: Since there are clouds – or even just scant cover – is it permissible to view the sun without protection through the clouds?

The answer is an emphatic “no!”

Bustle.com says don’t be fooled by people who say it’s safe to look.

…if it is cloudy during the solar eclipse, don’t assume it’s safe to look up at the sun without protective eye gear. You are still in extreme danger of damaging your eyes if you look at the eclipse without special verified solar eclipse glasses that meet international safety standards, so don’t even think about risking it. You know how you can still get a sunburn even when it’s hazy out? This is sort of the same deal — only you’re scorching your retinas.

Even if the clouds dissipate, Southern Utah is expecting only approximately 75 percent of totality for the eclipse. This will lead to the sky darkening and will still be a sight to remember.

But if the clouds are there and you can’t see the sun outside – protected, of course – the best way to see the eclipse is on TV or the internet.

Don’t risk your eyes. We want to you be able to read St. George News tomorrow. Enjoy the eclipse, however you manage to do so.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • DRT August 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Media Hype! If it wasn’t for the media hype this would be a “non-event.” The eclipse is going to happen, whether anyone sees it, or not.
    But look at all the money the media hype is generating, particularly for the Idaho businesses that are gouging the public. I hope that the people being gouged are going to realize this, and flatly refuse to consider Idaho for a future vacation.
    And I wonder how many people are going to ignore the warnings and damage their vision.

  • comments August 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    got to be honest. what i saw of it thru the clouds: LAMMMMMMMEEEEEEEE. didn’t even get dark at all. pretty much a non-event/waste of time, from So. UT at least.

  • Sapphire August 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    They kept advertising this as a once in a lifetime event which is blatantly false. There has been about 35 of them since 1900. Anything to make a buck.

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