Alternatively, here is an option to observe the eclipse in full safety without buying any commercial product:
Like published many times for AstroSolar Film, the film is mounted loosely in it's paper frame to retain the ultra high quality which AstroSolar is known for. When looking at the film you might have the impression it would show wrinkles - and this is perfectly normal and that's how it ought to be. All our product images do show how this will look like. Wrinkles in this case are a sign that the film is mounted correctly. What we do not let pass though are real folds and creases in the metal film. Even these will not be dangerous in the least - but they could impair the high optical quality of the solar image.
Do not let the viewer fall into dirt, do not let it collect dust over some weeks, do not put it flat on a table while rubbing it back and forth - that is - do not violently scratch off the metal coating visible at the front side. AstroSolar film is metallized on both sides. Even some scratches on the front side will not be dangerous for your eyes! This material has a 25 years history and we stand behind it. In addition, the special (non-soot) black film that complements the metal film will work as an added safety layer and definitely the combination of materials will keep your eyes out of harm.
Even so we do insist that each viewer must be tested by you as well before each use, to check if any changes have appeared over time due to wrong handling or improper storage. If your viewer is torn from age or use, if it shows bright pinpoints during a short glimpse towards the sun, then discharge it and get a new one.
EN ISO 12312-2:2015
Solar Viewer eclipse shades made with BAADER AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film (OD 5.0) are CE/ISO-certified for directly looking into the sun.
Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold
Solar shades / eclipse glasses with an Optical Density of 5.0
The Solar Viewers by Baader Planetarium are a high-quality product which is extremly well suited for naked-eye solar observations. The most-common use-case for them are solar eclipses.
As the moon passes slowly in front of the sun, you can easily observe how the sun disappears behind it through the Solar Viewer. The spectacular event of a total solar eclipse itself, which usually lasts only for a few minutes, should then be enjoyed without the glasses and safely with the naked eye.
However, the SolarViewer can not only be used to monitor solar eclipses. You can also see larger sun spots through it, or simply discover the sun.
Safety instructions and information about AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film
Notes and specifications about Baader AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film OD = 5.0
AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film has been specially developed for visual solar observation at zero magnification for use with solar viewers. This film is only being used for production of our Solar Viewers.
The optical density of Solar Viewer Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold is OD 5.0. Our Solar Viewer are CE-certified and comply to the Norm EN ISO 12312-2:2015 – thus they are certified for a safe and direct view into the sun.
AstroSolar® Silver/Gold has no added treatments to attain fine-optical properties necessary for high magnification work. It is not suited to being used in combination with telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes or camera lenses.
We are producing Baader AstroSolar® Silver Film for more than 25 years. In the year 1999, during the grand total eclipse over Europe, more than 20 million solar viewers equipped with this film were in use. For the great american solar eclipse in USA 2017 we now introduce the successor to the market: Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold, with eye-sided reflex-free material for an excellent viewing experience.
In contrast to the black, soot-filled light-absorbing films of other manufacturers, the reflective metal-layers of our AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film are much more efficient at blocking the red (and especially the invisible infrared) light, and thus achieve a better security rating at the necessary optical densitiy of OD 5.0.
Why don’t we use this film for telescopes – a simple answer
When using precision-grade AstroSolar® Safety Film (pictured at the right) for telescopes, perfect optical quality is most important. However – this film must be treated with great care since the metal and protective coatings applied onto both sides of the film are very similar in their technical properties to the reflective surface applied onto astronomical mirrors.
Since a Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold is used visually at zero magnification, the optical grade of the film is not of prime consideration. Instead it is most desirable to apply protective coatings of highest durability grade, to end up with a protective film of much higher resilience against inadverted rough handling. This is being achieved for AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film with its metal hard coated layers applied onto both sides of the film, making it scratch resistant without sacrificing in sharpness and without creating a double image of the Sun due to adding up several layers of dark and/or reflective film onto each other.
A single layer of AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film provides a perfectly sharp and energy balanced solar image – including the ability of identifying large sunspots and without transmitting irresponsible amounts of infrared(heat) radiation as with simpler sooth-filled energy absorbent films which do not offer added IR-blocking by metal reflective coatings.
Due to the dual side metallization process designed for AstroSolar® Silver/Gold Film, the film remains safe for a straight look into the Sun, even in case the front side of the viewer would suffer a scratch or mild kind of abuse. Still every solar viewer must always get a thorough inspection by the user to detect possible damages due to wrong handling and must be discharded in case a defect would be visible.
Never try to take an image of the sun through a Solar Viewer – neither through a camera or by mounting it in front of e.g. a pair of binoculars, because larger lenses will not be covered completely by the Solar Viewer. Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold may never be used together with any optics which are pointed at the sun without a solar filter.
Never look at the sun with the naked eye without a Solar Viewer – danger!
Only and exclusivly during the few seconds of minutes of totality (when the sun is completely eclipsed by the moon) can you take a safe look at the sun's corona with the naked eye (see image below). Nevertheless, the complete eclipse, which lasts for hours – from the beginning when the moon touches the disk of the sun for the first time until the end, when it is completely visible again – must only be viewed through a safe and certified solar filter – the Baader Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold.
You must use a proper filter at any time for all other kinds of solar observation, too – no matter if during a partial eclipse, an annular eclipse, or simply your daily check for large solar spots. Even if the sun is eclipsed by 99%, the remaining sickle is is still so bright that you must use a good filter.
Never even try to look at the sun with your naked eye, regular sun glasses or insufficient filters! Every carelessness when chosing the right kind of protection can cause permanent eye damage or blindness.Solar Viewer Application: Only during totality (left image), a solar eclipse can be observed without a filter. At all other times you need proper solar filters for a look at the sun! Images: (c) Sebastian Voltmer
The Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold eclipse glasses
The design of the Solar Viewers already gives you a first impression of the beauty of our closest star and the several kinds of solar observation. The central part shows a view of the horizon during a total eclipse: The sun is surrounded by a dark, partly cloudy sky, while the whole horizon is still brightened by the light close to the moon's shadow.
The left temple (as seen from the front) shows a giant sun spot in white light on the right, as it may be visible on the sun through a Solar Viewer. Close to it is an large prominence in the red light of H-Alpha.On its left is a tiny earth – it is at the same scale as the sun spot to the right. At the end of the temple and in front of a star field is an image of the sun which was taken during the Venus transit on June 6th, 2012. Here you can see how small the planet Venus appears in front of the sun.
The right temple shows a real photo of our Earth with the shadow of the moon on it, and above it the eclipsed sun in front of a star field to explain the origin of a solar eclipse. The end of the temple shows a large coronal mass ejection moving from the Sun to the Earth, pictured in the red light of H-Alpha.
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