Proper Eye Protection is Crucial for Las Vegas Residents Planning for the Eclipse

A total solar eclipse will cast a shadow across the nation on Aug. 21, and it’s one of the largest eclipses the country has seen since 1918.

“This one’s going all across the country. Hasn’t happened in almost a hundred years,” said News 3 Meteorologist Kevin Janison.

“You know, what’s really cool about this is that astronomers are able to predict the exact time when the moon will pass in front of the sun and the shadow will be in a specific spot on earth,” said Janison, when asked to explain what exactly a solar eclipse is.

He says the best time to view the eclipse in Las Vegas will be around 10:30 a.m.

According to NASA, the solar eclipse will reach full totality in many states around the nation, but Las Vegas residents will only be able to see a partial view of the eclipse at 72 percent.

Experts at the CSN Planetarium say when the eclipse reaches full totality, you don’t need protective glasses — you can look right at it.

But for Las Vegas residents that are planning to get a good look at the eclipse, the proper eye protection is crucial.

“It’s good to have that healthy respect for the sun, but our eyes aren’t meant for looking at something that bright,” said Dr. Pam Maher, a NASA coordinator with the CSN Planetarium.

NASA sent out a warning that some fake protective glasses have been surfacing.

CSN Planetarium manager Andrew Kerr says you should be able to tell the real and fake glasses apart fairly easy.

“You can actually tell if it’s a fake, usually, because if you put on a pair of solar eclipse glasses, you won’t be able to see anything unless you look at the sun,” said Kerr. “You’ll be able to see the sun but you won’t see anything else.”

You can buy a pair of eclipse protective glasses for $2 at the Planetarium; they’re also being sold at Lowes and Home Depot.

Some local libraries are also offering free protective glasses. Here’s a list of those branches, though, at last check, they were all out of them:

Windmill Library – Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
Paseo Verde Library – Henderson Libraries
James I. Gibson Library – Henderson Libraries