2017 Solar Eclipse: What you need to know before the big event

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Millions across the country are gearing up for the solar eclipse, including those right here in the Bluff City.

Here in Memphis, the partial eclipse begins at 11:52 a.m. with the maximum eclipse happening at 1:22 p.m. The moon will leave the sun's edge just before 3 p.m. Monday.

The Mid-South will experience a partial eclipse, meaning you'll see roughly five percent of the sun.

On the CBS Morning News, Bill Nye reiterated the fact that despite the cosmic event, the sun is still the sun. Even staring at it for a small amount of time can damage your eyes, so it's extremely important to keep your eclipse glasses on at all times when looking directly at the sun.

If you are not looking up into the sky, you do not need to wear them.

Only the certified glasses are dark enough to protect your eyes. A common misconception is that regular sunglasses or welding glasses offer enough protection. Sunglasses do not offer enough protection and neither do welding glasses unless they are number 14 — the darkest shade available.

Doctors said you can suffer retina damage and possibly even go blind if you look into the sun without any protection.

"It's so dangerous for people to look at the sun even for brief periods of time because you can cause permanent damage to the retina - we call it solar retinopathy and it's really very close to burning a hole in the retina."

For those using cameras, binoculars and telescopes, you will need to use a solar filter. But don't use eclipse glasses to look through them. Experts say the focused sunlight can melt the filter and damage your eyes.

Above all, experts said you simply need to be in the moment and remember the importance of science.

If you can't be outside to watch the eclipse, you can always watch it on the WREG Facebook page, WREG.com, or on-air on the News Channel 3 Anytime channel.


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