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Here’s Why It’s A Really Bad Idea To Look Directly At The Sun Through A Telescope


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The energy that fuels life on Earth comes from the closest star to our home planet: the Sun. While this energy is needed to sustain life, there is no doubting the fact that it can be harmful to humans. The ultra violet (UV) rays coming from the Sun have enough energy to cause serious damage and our delicate anatomy is no match for them. Our eyes, of course, can be damaged the most if we look directly at the Sun through a telescope. In fact, the UV rays coming from the sun can actually burn our eyes!

To prove that using a telescope to look directly at the Sun can only end in disaster, astronomer Mark Thompson set on a mission to capture the effects of focusing sunlight on a pig’s eye. Why a pig’s eye? Because that’s the closest match you can find to a human’s eye (anatomy, distribution of photoreceptors, vasculature etc.) without actually using one. So what happens when a light from a 80 mm with 50x magnification is focused on a pig’s eye? You can see the effects for yourself in all the gory details in the video above.

At first all seems fine. But within 20 seconds, the damage becomes apparent: the eye begins to smoke! The rays of the sun literally begin to cook the flesh. And the damage doesn’t stop at just the outer layers; when the eye is dissected, even the retina shows some serious damage.

A human eye would face the same damage if it were subjected to such conditions. That’s why looking at the sun using a telescope indeed a very bad idea. — Mark Thompson

Our eyes are quite delicate and can be easily damaged by the Sun’s rays. That’s why telescopes, the Sun and the eyes shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence and one should never ever look at the sun through the eyepiece of a telescope.

Also Read: New Gadget Claims To ‘Switch Off’ Period Pain.

Asad Khan

You can find Asad on , and .


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