This is the FIRST time, that a major solar eclipse lands in U.S. when we have such a wide spread use of cell phones. Hence, there is now an UNPRECEDENTED risk, perhaps the FIRST time in human history, that potentially significant (and untreatable!) solar eye injuries can occur in a LARGE number of people, due to the LACK OF KNOWLDEGE and the widespread use of cell phones particularly as videoing or photography devices.
Many solar eye injuries (solar retinopathy) are irreversible, and the sight losses (central blind spot) are permanent, such as what happened in the major solar eclipse in India in 1980's.
Today, our cell phone use is even much more ubiquitous than that in the 1980's.
So, this is an important public safety message.
Public needs to know, public needs to be educated, about the risk of sight loss with unsafe viewing of eclipse, and public needs to know what to do, what NOT to do.
At a time when everybody wants to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and when everybody has a cell phone in his/her hands, it is critically important, to learn the SAFE way of enjoying the eclipse with your phones!
Many cameras, telescopes, and digital cell phones such as iPhone actually concentrate, focus and amplify light intensity. Hence, looking through these devices with naked eyes while viewing solar eclipse IS in fact MORE dangerous than with naked eyes alone.
The proper way of taking photos or videos of the eclipse using your camera (or telescope or cell phone), is to place the ISO 12312-2 solar eclipse safety filters IN FRONT OF the lens of these optical devices.
Ming Wang, MD, PhD
Ophthalmologist and laser physicist
Nashville, TN, USA