AIKEN, GA (WRDW) -- When you're viewing the historic eclipse coming up on August 21st, safety should be your first priority.
"As the sun begins to get darkened by the moon, what happens is our eyes don't notice that there is a problem with this bright light," Gary J. Senn, Director of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center said.
He says you could be harming yourself while watching the eclipse and not even realize it.
"The same energy that causes the damage to your eyes is still there, even though it's not as bright, and that's where the danger comes in," Senn said.
For anyone viewing the eclipse in areas without totality, eye protection will be needed at all times.
"Only in those places where there's going to be totality, where the moon will totally cover the sun, will it be safe at that brief moment to take the glasses off and enjoy the corona," Senn said.
The good news is that viewing is easy with the proper tools, and those tools might be easier to find than you think. Household items like colanders, cheese graters or index cards with holes punched in them can project mini eclipses on the ground without you needing to look directly at the sun.
"You're not looking at it directly, so you're holding it out, the sun shines through it and you're looking at the ground behind that object," Senn said.