January 27, 2009, 10:24 am
An eclipse was seen across the southern hemisphere yesterday - see some amazing photographs!
A solar eclipse - magnificent if you get the chance to see one! - happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth to block out part of the sun
The most spectacular eclipses occur when the centre of the sun is "blaked out" by the moon, and all but a thin ring of burning sunlight can be seen round the darkness.
But what is the link to molecules?
Take a quick look at the photos of people watching the eclipse yesterday by clicking the headline above - notice anything in particular?
They are all wearing protective eye-wear. Without these, looking at the sun, even a total eclipse, would damage our eyes by burning the cells in the retina at the back of our eyes which detect light.
NEVER try to look at the sun without these special glasses!!!
The special filters in the glasses made so that you can safely watch the eclipse have a thin layer of chromium alloy or aluminium on them, so that less than 0.003% of visible light and 0.5% of near infrared can get through
Photographic film is only safe in certain circumstances - so don't risk it - use the special glasses from a local science centre or school instead!
It is a bit difficult to organise an eclipse, so look on the NASA site for when your area will have its next solar eclipse ... and get your special glasses ready!