Don't look at the Sun!

Update 5 June 2012: Over the next few hours the planet Venus will transit the Sun. This will be visible from many parts of the Earth. Remember to observe with safe solar filters. You can also view the whole thing online via LCOGT, The Royal Astronomical Society or NASA Edge.

Every time there is a solar eclipse you will find astronomers warning you to never look directly at the Sun. Even more importantly, you should not look at the Sun through a telescope unless you have a professional solar filter that covers the front of the telescope. Why?

The Sun is very bright and by focussing the light onto the back of your eye (the retina) with or without a telescope, you are putting a lot of energy (both optical light and infra-red) onto a tiny area. At some point in your life you may have tried to set paper on fire using a magnifying glass, so just think about that being done to the back of your eye. It isn't nice. Even more scarily is the fact that the retina of your eye does not have pain receptors, so you will not even feel the damage being done. It may not even become apparent until later.

Dont look at the Sun

A grape at the focus of a small telescope while looking at the Sun unprotected. CREDIT: Stuart/Megan

Last year, I decided to try to demonstrate just how dangerous looking at the Sun is. Luckily, I am too sensible to use my own eye for this purpose, so I decided to use a green grape instead. It is round and squishy, so vaguely resembles an eyeball. However, a grape doesn't have its own lens to focus the light onto the back of it ,so I reckon it should fare better than a human eye. Anyway, not knowing exactly what to expect, I used some pliers to hold the grape at the focus. For the first few seconds not a lot appeared to be happening. If it was your eye there in place of the grape, you would be cooking your retina in an irreversible way. Anyway, I was slightly suprised a few seconds later when the sunlight had burnt through the outer layer of the grape and hot grape juice squirted out. It sprayed the eyepiece. I made a rather poor quality movie of this, complete with the sound of sizzling grape. If you click on the image you should be able to see it (WARNING: 2.1MB MOV file). The result is not good.

Not only do you blind yourself, but you may damage the optics of your telescope. So, remember folks, NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. If you want to observe the Sun, check out the SOHO website or find someone with a solar telescope. You have been warned.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 30th Sep 2005 (11:13 UTC) | 186 Comments | Permalink

Comments: Don't look at the Sun!

"Not only do you blind yourself, but you may damage the optics of your telescope."

You're telling me, that eyepiece still smells of burnt sugar!

Seriously, the heat could destroy coatings on your eyepieces and cause lenses to crack. If you ever buy a telescope that comes with an eyepiece-mounted solar filter, throw it away as it could well destroy your vision if you use it. They may reduce the light in the optical part of the spectrum so that the Sun appears dark, but they generally still let through infra-red light which will cook your eyeball very quickly.

Posted by Megan on Friday 30th Sep 2005 (20:35 UTC)

Hey Stuart, you made the bad astronomy blog! There is a very lively discussion going on over there.

I will now use this article in my standard warnings when discussing solar observation.

I must admit that when I first started out, I used the eyepiece filter that came with my chinese refractor. After reading a few articles in astronomy magazines, I rapidly changed to eyepiece projection. WHich has the added advantage that many people can watch with you. It was a hit for the transit of Venus.

Posted by Ian Musgrave on Thursday 06th Oct 2005 (22:09 UTC)

I know! I wondered what was happening to my weblogs as the number of readers suddenly increased by a factor of about 150 since this morning. Everyone seems very shy though.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 06th Oct 2005 (22:26 UTC)

I came over from Bad Astronomy. I'm very impressed by your experiment, but sorry about the eyepiece of your telescope. The price one must pay for scientific endeavour!

Posted by Beche-la-mer on Friday 07th Oct 2005 (03:56 UTC)

I guess you have never played with a magnifying glass and ants. *pop* *sizzle*.

Found by way of j-walkblog. I will be back. And I'm not shy.

Posted by Bret on Friday 07th Oct 2005 (16:14 UTC)

I also came over from Bad Astronomy. Pictures are worth a thousand your video is at least a novella! That was wicked.

Posted by Ron on Friday 07th Oct 2005 (19:23 UTC)

Very interesting site. Increased traffic could also be FireFox's Stumble! Bar. That is how I found the site.

Posted by Jim Davis on Saturday 08th Oct 2005 (01:55 UTC)

I'm glad you all enjoyed the video clip. Thanks for saying hi.

Posted by Stuart on Monday 10th Oct 2005 (11:31 UTC)

That was a cool video! I have never looked directly at the sun with or without a telescope. And thanks to you i never will. I already have bad vison and i dont want it to be any worse!


Posted by Alex V. on Friday 30th Dec 2005 (19:42 UTC)

cool video!! im never looking at sun now. thanks for warning me Stuart!!!!!!!! i dont want to hurt my eyes!!!

Posted by avery on Friday 30th Dec 2005 (19:48 UTC)

If you have never looked directly at the sun,you have obviously never driven down a road when the sun is low in the sky.You can't look away,or you could have an accident

The reason it is dangerous during an eclipse is because your eye responds to the average light level ,which is low,& opens its aperture wide.the very narrow but intense light from the small part of the sun which is visible can freely reach the eyes internals

Posted by Bryan Wheeler on Saturday 28th Jan 2006 (14:41 UTC)

so your saying by looking at the sun you can go blind for ever?

E-mail me back

Posted by Andrew on Wednesday 13th Sep 2006 (14:53 UTC)

Andrew, what I'm saying is that looking at the Sun directly is dangerous to your eyeballs. Looking at it though a pair of binoculars or a telescope is even more dangerous.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 14th Sep 2006 (16:59 UTC)

how dangerous is it tho out of 1 out of 10

Posted by Andrew on Friday 15th Sep 2006 (23:13 UTC)

never ever ever! look directly at the sun and i tell you this from experience. i have looked directly at the sun and now my vision is distorted. i cant see numbers very well anymore and i will never be able to see a straight line again; it will always have a bulge in it. when i close my eyes i can actually see the hole that i burned into the retinas of my eyes by staring at the sun so never under any circumstance look directly into the sun.

Posted by Faith L. on Saturday 16th Sep 2006 (00:53 UTC)

my god and you where looking at the sun for 5 or 10 minits?

i am geting a telescope soon i hope so i am just trying to find out all i can about it

but wat if its not a sunny day?

Posted by Andrew on Sunday 17th Sep 2006 (13:56 UTC)

Andrew, I'll echo Faith's comments that you should do your best not to stare at the Sun. You should certainly not look at it through a telescope unless it is a proper solar telescope with good quality filters on the front to reduce the amount of light going into it. The reason it is dangerous is that the Sun is VERY bright and so much light falling on the back of your eye is very likely to damage the sensitive cells in it.

Generally, if you are getting a normal telescope you will not be looking at the sky during the day so it isn't too much of an issue. Of course there are some occassions when you would want to use a telescope during the day but I suspect those will be sunny days (you don't see much that is astronomical when it is cloudy!). If you do observe during the day, just make sure that you steer well clear of the Sun.

Posted by Stuart on Sunday 17th Sep 2006 (15:09 UTC)

no dont ever look directly at the sun, I did it when i was younger and i went deaf.

Posted by david on Wednesday 08th Nov 2006 (16:29 UTC)

im realy worried about myself. i have an observitory OCD which makes me want to look at things and igzamine them. im worried that i might be overpowered by the sensation and start looking at the sun directly, even using the special methods to protect your eyes wont work cos my complex mind will just say "but what would it look like directly?" i have poor vision now possibly from excessive use of the computer and dont wish to damage my eyes further, i may have climpsed the sun up to 20 times since i was born =O

Posted by jamie on Sunday 12th Nov 2006 (20:26 UTC)

Jamie, try not to worry too much. If you do happen to glance at the Sun with your own eyes you should look away again as quickly as you can and blink a few times. (If there are any optometrists out there reading this they may be able to add some better advice here).

Of course, a much bigger problem would be looking at the Sun with some kind of telescope/binoculars. The best thing to do in that case is never to put a telescope in a situation where you can accidentally look at the Sun through it.

Posted by Stuart on Sunday 12th Nov 2006 (23:26 UTC)

ok, i was also wondering if this only aplys to the sun? i have powerfull disco lights in my room as my regular lighting, and i wasnt sure if this could do any damage. any advice please? thanks for the tips stuart, i tend to find that glimpsing the sun is a common accident, aspecially when the sun is dim and i dont realys its there when looking up. usually when its bright my light sensetive eyes make it impossible to see properly so i couldnt look at the sun anyway :P

i also heard that sun glasses that dont have the national safety mark are actually even worse for the eyes because they make the pupils bigger to let in more light, but dont protect from UV rays courses more damage =\

Posted by jamie on Wednesday 15th Nov 2006 (19:16 UTC)

on a cloudy? hmmmm...well i'll tell you that my uncle and i watched a partial eclipse of the sun on dec 25, 2000 (i think it was 2000) and we saw the whole thing through the clouds perfectly and even took some excellent pictures all through the clouds. on that day the clouds were just thick enough so that we could see the eclipse without the glare and just thin enough so the we could see every detail of the eclipse. it was awesome! however if you were to look at the sun through a telescope you would definitely do terrible damage to your eyes because its heat and light are magnified many times so whatever you do please please please dont use a telescope to look at the sun.

Posted by Faith L. on Friday 17th Nov 2006 (22:05 UTC)

lol that should be "on a cloudy day?"

Posted by Faith L. on Friday 17th Nov 2006 (22:07 UTC)

is it possible to look directly at the sun??? for more than 5 seconds???

Posted by benn9 on Sunday 26th Nov 2006 (23:57 UTC)

Benn9, it is possible but you will most likely do serious damage to your eyes. I would STRONGLY recommend that you didn't look at the Sun for any length of time.

Posted by Stuart on Monday 27th Nov 2006 (09:15 UTC)

i have hade eye problem for a few years ..when i look at writing the bit in the middle i cant see so if the word i was looking at was qwerty all i see is qwe ty..i have had tests they caNT FIND ANYTHING UP WITH THEM .I HAVE BEEN LOOKING ON THE NET FOR SIMPTOMS ..I AM 100% SURE ITS BEEN THE SUN .ARE THEY any treament for it

Posted by john on Tuesday 05th Dec 2006 (17:24 UTC)

John, this isn't the right place to ask for medical advice. If I were you I would contact an optometrist or opthalmologist and perhaps check out the Royal National Institute for the Blind's pages on low vision.

Posted by Stuart on Wednesday 06th Dec 2006 (09:52 UTC)

I should be blind according to this then.

I looked directly into the Sun today for more then an hour. I've spent as many as 3 hours in a row looking directly into the Sun. I've been looking every chance I can for the last 13 years.

I've looked into the Sun from a very young age.

I'm 49 now and getting a little far sighted but no noticable damage from looking into the sun.

I don't reccomend it if you think it will blind you. What you believe come into existance.

But like smoking cigerets, not everyone gets cancer from it.

Oh don't look.

I don't mean to sound like I'm saying to do it.

But I can. Want witnesses? I Got them. Lots


JE Moses

Posted by Jesus on Wednesday 13th Dec 2006 (07:33 UTC)

Jesus, I really don't believe that your statement is factually correct. However, even if I was to assume that it was, I think that it is very dangerous to make such statements. Despite your claim that you "don't mean to sound like I'm saying to do it" that is certainly what it will encourage. I do not understand what you wish to accomplish by this.

The analogy with cigarettes doesn't really work. Smoking gives you a statistical chance that you could damage a cell in such a way that it reproduces uncontrollably (i.e. cancer). However, allowing large amounts of sunlight direct into your eyes for some time will raise the temperature at the back of your eye. Heating up cells to high temperatures is a very sure way to kill them.

I have a final question. Why would you spend so long looking directly at the Sun over many years?

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Posted by Gariel on Monday 15th Jan 2007 (19:55 UTC)

My son was at school, during break time he decided to stare at the sun for 2 minutes. When he got back home he was watching tv and he kept saying there was something wrong with the colour, he kept seeing pink, then hour later more colours! will this have a long term damage on his eyes?

Posted by marie on Tuesday 23rd Jan 2007 (17:06 UTC)

I would seek medical advice if I were you. It will not have done his eyesight any good and it may have caused long term damage. You should take him to an optician for an eye examination. I hope he turns out to OK.

Posted by Stuart on Tuesday 23rd Jan 2007 (18:54 UTC)

Ever since I learned the dangers of looking at the sun, I have done my best to avoid it over the years. I am OCD so you can imagine how careful I have tried to be. However, playing baseball there were times that I had to stare directly into the sun many times in order to catch pop flys. Today, I walked out without my sun glasses. I came up to a traffic light and had no choice but to look directly into the sun in order to see when the light turned green. The sun was directly behind the signal so I literally had to look directly into it to see when I could go. I am freaking out because I probably looked right at it for about 2 seconds straight. It was so bright that I quickly looked away each time that I glanced up at it. I am worrying myself sick that I may have permaently damaged my eyes. My eyes seem to be working though as of now. Could someone tell me if I should worry about this? If it had done serious damage, would I already know it or could it show up at a later time?

Posted by Glen on Wednesday 07th Feb 2007 (01:08 UTC)

Glen, as far as I know it can take hours to a day or two to see the effects of damage from looking at the Sun. If you are worried, go see an optician or other eye specialist.

Posted by Stuart on Wednesday 07th Feb 2007 (09:50 UTC)

I've already watch directly the sun. The sky was clear, I looked at the sun directly for at least 2 minutes. I didn't feel any pain, and over a year later I don't notice any change in my vision, it is still as perfect as it was. But I don't recommend you attempting this. ( at the moment I was in a very conscious state of mind, and I believed that if I was to look at the sun it would not impair my vision ; seems I was right though )

Posted by Philippe on Monday 19th Feb 2007 (07:30 UTC)

Philippe, out of interest, where was the Sun in the sky (how high above the horizon) at the time?

Posted by Stuart on Monday 19th Feb 2007 (07:48 UTC)

Put your head 45 degrees backward and look straight. That's approximately where the sun was. Not absolutely sure though... But I can tell it was very very bright in the eyes.

Posted by Philippe on Monday 19th Feb 2007 (08:43 UTC)

YOU WEIRD BUT ..................

Posted by corinne on Tuesday 20th Feb 2007 (15:49 UTC)


Posted by COZZY on Tuesday 20th Feb 2007 (15:53 UTC)


Posted by BOB on Wednesday 28th Feb 2007 (18:20 UTC)

WOW! this is pretty old. Anyway, nice blog. Im doing an assignment at school about looking at the sun and this has helped me to finish it. THANKS!!! :)

Posted by kieran on Tuesday 06th Mar 2007 (07:24 UTC)

dun dun dun

Posted by ??? on Tuesday 06th Mar 2007 (07:26 UTC)

i have desperatly been trying to find ways to look at the sun without hurting my eyes i dont want a picture or n e thing like that i want to look directly at it is there some type of tool i can use?

i was a a tripper for many years and no longer trip so i have permanent visuals now the sun gives off so many beutifull colors itself it is very hard for me not to look right at at and my girlfriend catches me staring at it and smacks me on the back of the head i cant help it there must be some way to see it without the harmful rays hurting my eyes someone please reply

Posted by scott on Monday 14th May 2007 (16:44 UTC)

Scott, get yourself some eclipse viewing glasses. Make sure they have a CE mark (or equivalent) so that you know they are safe. If you have a lot more money to spend, buy yourself a solar telescope. Both of these methods let you look directly at the Sun but cut out a huge amount of the light to make it safe.

Posted by Stuart on Monday 14th May 2007 (17:13 UTC)

I remember looking at the sun for the briefest of moments when we had the best UK solar eclipse many years ago.

The pain at the time was not good, and I wished I had not done it.

PS If anyone wants a link exchange between our astronomy sites, then please contact me.

Posted by Daniel on Thursday 05th Jul 2007 (15:35 UTC)

the info was great it really helped me in my homework normally i would look at the sun but now i have been warned and thank you

Posted by saranyia on Monday 13th Aug 2007 (08:25 UTC)

the info was great it really helped me in my homework normally i would look at the sun but now i have been warned and thank you

Posted by saranyia on Monday 13th Aug 2007 (08:25 UTC)

Hello my good friends. Recently I have suffered many problems due to my cat being murdered, it was a tragic event and made me soooo upset lolz. One day I looked at the SOON and it gave me energy and I had the feeling that god had forgived me for my sins and given me this energy. OPleadse forgove my Inglish im amermerican.

Posted by Ash on Tuesday 11th Sep 2007 (14:31 UTC)

Hi, I drive alot around 6:30, 7:00 PM. I drive the same way every day (to get home) and every time I do it, the sun is always right in front of the car, next to stop lights, etc. I am really frightened about what this could be doing to my eyes. I am wearing a pair of pretty cheap sunglasses, but feel I need more protection. Please advise. thanks

I really am worried about this. email me,

Posted by AJ on Friday 14th Sep 2007 (19:43 UTC)

AJ, the thing to do in this sort of situation is to limit the amount of light (optical and UV) getting to your eyes. The simplest thing to do is what I do and pull down the sun shade (the thing with the mirror on it attached to the roof over the drivers seat). You can angle that to block the sun but still see some of the road.

As the year progresses this should be less of a problem because the Sun will set at a different time and in a different place.

Posted by Stuart on Sunday 16th Sep 2007 (12:25 UTC)


Posted by ADRIAN on Friday 04th Jan 2008 (04:13 UTC)

When Iâ™m a little child a have a weird hobby sometimes in the morning or at daylight I like to see a sun with my bare eyes without any filers and I like it a lot even some time my tears dropping a lot, because after several minutes you will be different colors like rainbow and itâ™s very interesting. Right now Iâ™m 35 and my eyes still ok without using any glasses.

Posted by yan on Monday 14th Apr 2008 (02:13 UTC)

I was lighting a piece of wood using a lens. I focused the lens on the wood and watched it make the wood start smoking. This took about a minute. After that, I noticed that my eyesite had a transparent orange circle no matter what I looked at.

Looking directly at the sun focal point on the wood is very dangereous and I should have wore snow blind glasses.

The orange cicles went away in about an hour but I don't know if my retinas are damaged

Anybody care to discuss this.

Posted by Mary Roach on Wednesday 30th Jul 2008 (11:00 UTC)

i looked at the sun for about ten seconds or so and later that evening when i looked at lights ie,candles and lit bulbs the light emitted was PINK.i had a very strange evening lol. vision is back to normal now though thank goddness.

Posted by emma on Monday 04th Aug 2008 (00:28 UTC)

what if you look into the rays when you use a magnifying glass and u see the light from the sun going through the glass when your trying to burn something

Posted by hihihihi on Sunday 10th Aug 2008 (14:37 UTC)

Recently, I was informed of the benefits of looking directly at the morning (rising) sun. Apparently, one should do so without one's spectacles. Also after a minute or so, one should focus on the area immediately above the sun, that is, not looking into the core of the sun. This practice apparently has its benefits and I was asked to visit the website But now I am confused - is it good or not good to look at the sun. Can somebody please advise?

Posted by Matthew on Friday 22nd Aug 2008 (06:15 UTC)

i did look at the sun with my eyes but my vision is poor and will i go blind?i never look at again when i did once(only for 2 seconds

Posted by pat on Saturday 23rd Aug 2008 (23:36 UTC)

Thanks a heap Stuart

my assignment is that much closer to being finished and it is always awesome to see something burn/blow up.

Posted by Bob on Monday 15th Sep 2008 (11:31 UTC)

i was just looking at your website and i thought it was brilliant and educational even with the comments that bring down a bit thanks

Posted by franki clarke on Monday 22nd Sep 2008 (17:26 UTC)

I've looked at the sun a lot of times directly, it leaves a weird glowing circle in your eye but goes away after about 1 minute, now I see a tiny purple dot wherever I look, but Its hard to know its there unless I'm staring at something,

if you want to know what the circle looks like, look into a light without a lampshade(Not an energy saver one!) then look around

Posted by guy on Friday 07th Nov 2008 (18:28 UTC)

when i was 7. me and my friends used 2 look at the sun i used 2 see people as purple. i used 2 look at the sun for like 5-20seconds this was at break time around 10:25am. but it went after a few mins. for some reasons i can look at really bright lights longer then most people without pain. im now 12 will this cause any problems like when im an adult and stuff. (also i never look at the sun any more and when i used 2 look at the sun i quit after a month or so. and i used 2 look at it once a week or so.)

Posted by Ikram on Wednesday 24th Dec 2008 (18:27 UTC)

when i was 7. me and my friends used 2 look at the sun i used 2 see people as purple. i used 2 look at the sun for like 5-20seconds this was at break time around 10:25am. but it went after a few mins. for some reasons i can look at really bright lights longer then most people without pain. im now 12 will this cause any problems like when im an adult and stuff. (also i never look at the sun any more and when i used 2 look at the sun i quit after a month or so. and i used 2 look at it once a week or so.)

Posted by Ikram on Wednesday 24th Dec 2008 (18:27 UTC)

gravatarIkram, I'm not a medical doctor or an optician so can't say if you'll have long term damage. As I say above though, there are no pain receptors in your retina so you wouldn't feel it even if you were causing damage there.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 25th Dec 2008 (02:38 UTC)

Is it bad to look at the sun reflecting off something? The sun is reflecting off the concrete floor behind me and i can see it on the computer screen. Will that damage my vision?

Posted by Jonathan on Wednesday 31st Dec 2008 (18:59 UTC)

Ok so i have this thing (OCD i think) where i keep on looking at the sun. I look at it probably for about 2 seconds every day and sometimes longer. I am very scared that i will permanently damage my vision, so how long do you think it would take to blind you? Is it just as bad to do glances instead of direct staring at the sun? Also i have heard that sunglasses make it worse because your pupils dilate and it still lets in light.

Posted by Comrie on Monday 19th Jan 2009 (19:13 UTC)

I was at the Griffith Observatory in LA a couple hours ago. There was this one exhibit where sunlight from the telescope is reflected onto this plate so it can read the spectrum. My silly girlfriend told me it was cool to look up into the telescope. I looked up, and it was the power of the sun directed onto my eyes. I immediately looked away; it was probably no more than 1/2 a second of looking. Immediately afterwards, they had a dull ache. Since then, I've been having a hard time focusing on objects and trying to read really strains my eyes. Is this only temporary? Does anyone have any info? Am I screwed?

Posted by Bucky on Monday 09th Mar 2009 (02:23 UTC)

ery Interested in this post :Comrie on Monday 19th Jan 2009!!!

I have exactly the same problem. Can remember growing up having comulsions to stare at the sun but it would come and go so it didn't bother me to much. The last 5 years it's got worse and can only link this to OCD. Are quick glances at the sun bad for eyes. Still fear for my eyesight as sometimes stare at the sun for longer. This is really worrying me and dont know how i can get over it. Even have facinations with staring into bright lightbulbs. Have mentioned this to friends but as they can't relate they just laugh as if im not serious. Does anyone know how this comes about as its got so much worse. Please help me and offer some advice please. I have always been fit and healthy bar this very debilitating thing which is making me extremely stressed as dont want to loose my sight! not crazy!!!

Posted by Zak on Monday 16th Mar 2009 (19:18 UTC)

Around the equator early in the morning the Sun is massive but orange-red... like a previous comment it is impossible to avoid while driving. But based on the grape experiment this shouldn't be a problem since its orange-red the light isn't intense (compared to bright white high in the sky). There is no natural reflex to look away from it. Such a reflex is designed to protect you so would it be correct that it is safe since your body doesn't deem it a threat? Shining a bright desk light in a pitch black room seems to be more injuring. Also playing sports like tennis you are 'forced to look at it'. I tend not look at the actual sun's circle but try to focus on the ball/sky near it. I don't play anymore but it happened alot. While serving you are looking at it for a good 5seconds per serve. What are the implications of that?

Posted by Wade on Wednesday 01st Apr 2009 (16:32 UTC)

gravatarThe light is passing through a lot more atmosphere when viewed on the horizon but I wouldn't like to guarantee anything.

It isn't safe to assume that because the body doesn't react you are safe. The body doesn't protect you from a build up of carbon monoxide or from a lack of oxygen; in both these cases you can die but your body doesn't really give you a warning.

Posted by Stuart on Wednesday 01st Apr 2009 (18:41 UTC)

so if you did brief glances at the sun over a a span of like 2 weeks that equaled 20 seconds would that be as bad as staring at the sun for 20 straight seconds.

Posted by Comrie on Thursday 09th Apr 2009 (01:54 UTC)

I looked at the sun when there was an eclipse in 1977 uk started to realise there was a permanent dot in my eye with swirly colours in can block out letters completely especially against a white background the optician said she can actually see the hole in my retina i looked at it for about two minutes on and off so be warned NEVER look at the sun makes me realise what a stupid fourteen year old I was especially as i skived school to look at it

Posted by janet on Thursday 16th Apr 2009 (23:42 UTC)

gravatarhey people wow

Posted by ian on Tuesday 30th Jun 2009 (08:52 UTC)

okay the only reason I found this article is because i'm doing some research because of my own stupidity. Yesterday i was laying by the pool and the sun was right above me so I opened my left eye and looked directly at it for no more then 20 or 30 seconds. Anyway today i've got a blind spot in my left eyes vision about the size of the sun in the sky that it was yesterday. So I got first hand experience that it is extremely dangerous to look at it. I'm only worried is this going to be permanent blind spot in my eye or is it temporary, trying to find an answer before I go see an eye doctor tomorrow.

Posted by Dave on Saturday 04th Jul 2009 (04:31 UTC)

gravatarDave, you'll get the best advice from your eye doctor than from me. I hope it isn't permanent.

Posted by Stuart on Sunday 05th Jul 2009 (16:31 UTC)

Hi, I'm trying to find some serious and scientific facts abot whether staring at the sun is dangerous or not.

That's because I used to stare at the Sun as a kid whenever I wanted to. Then someone told me not to do it, that it's dangerous and scared me about it.

It was only a few years ago that I stared at the Sun again, after many years. The problem was that I was feeling sick and I was sure that I'd faint. Slowly everything was becoming dark around me and I was losing consciousness. Then I turned my head to the Sun and stared at it until the darkness went away.

Anyway I'd be very very angry if it turned out that it's not so dangerous at all. Because, as a kid, I wasn't afraid of the Sun, I liked my "staring sessions". And now that I'm reading about all these people here in the comments who still stare at the sun, I feel cheated. I believe in science and I believe scientists but now I'm kinda starting to feel as if some uberreligious commander told me: "Don't stare at the Sun, it's the devil that will take your soul". If scientists are prepared to just lie and proclaim uninvestigated facts as total truths, then I have no more reason to believe them as I would have to believe in ghosts, gods and other mumbojumbo. PLEASE people, do some studies, test, whatever...but get your facts straight. Just because something sounds logicall doesn't mean it's true.

I'd say that for some people, staring at the Sun is dangerous and for some it is not! So if you have a need to look at it and had that need since you were a kid, maybe your eyes are ok with it. Btw I have a perfectly healthy sight.

Posted by Bojan on Monday 06th Jul 2009 (14:54 UTC)

Hi everyone out there...fact, staring at the sun is dangerous...but haven't we all been in a situation where we have been exposed to the sun...whether at dawn or dusk it is unavoidable and certainly would have damaged our eyes by now...are you telling everyone from your fears and comments here that staring for a few seconds at the sun will actually cause permanent damage to the whole human race, c'mon we are all exposed to the sun everyday in every way, if you just glanced for a few seconds that will not hurt you at all, we have all done it at some time in our lives, just don't stare for prolonged periods and use common sense...peace

Posted by Savannah on Thursday 30th Jul 2009 (02:37 UTC)

Hi everyone out there...fact, staring at the sun is dangerous...but haven't we all been in a situation where we have been exposed to the sun...whether at dawn or dusk it is unavoidable and certainly would have damaged our eyes by now...are you telling everyone from your fears and comments here that staring for a few seconds at the sun will actually cause permanent damage to the whole human race, c'mon we are all exposed to the sun everyday in every way, if you just glanced for a few seconds that will not hurt you at all, we have all done it at some time in our lives, just don't stare for prolonged periods and use common sense...peace

Posted by Savannah on Thursday 30th Jul 2009 (02:37 UTC)

Hi everyone out there...fact, staring at the sun is dangerous...but haven't we all been in a situation where we have been exposed to the sun...whether at dawn or dusk it is unavoidable and certainly would have damaged our eyes by now...are you telling everyone from your fears and comments here that staring for a few seconds at the sun will actually cause permanent damage to the whole human race, c'mon we are all exposed to the sun everyday in every way, if you just glanced for a few seconds that will not hurt you at all, we have all done it at some time in our lives, just don't stare for prolonged periods and use common sense...peace

Posted by Savannah on Thursday 30th Jul 2009 (02:38 UTC)

i used too look at the sun for like 5 mins straight in pre-school. will i have perm damage in my eyes now?

Posted by hi on Friday 18th Sep 2009 (03:35 UTC)

Aqui do Brasil o Sol é lindo, para não fazer mal em olhar diretamente, usamos lentes escuras, principalmente as de chapas de RX

Posted by Alexandre on Thursday 01st Oct 2009 (17:36 UTC)


A while back, say a month or so ago, I went upstate to visit my friend. We generally catch the sunrise from atop a residential hill that overlooks the bay. That morning I swear I stared at the sun for 20 minutes. It was very low on the horizon, as it had just risen. But I've been very worried that I might end up blind one day because of it. I don't have any noticeable damage to my vision...yet. But who's to say that in 20 years I won't be blind because of it.

The Sun literally is the most amazing thing in the solar system, without it, we'd all be without life. I don't know what I was thinking, I guess I forgot (or no one ever told me) that looking at the sun was a bad idea. I figured that was only during eclipses. No idea where the logic was in that... but nonetheless, I really hope that I don't go blind one day.

I'm going to assume that if there were any damage, I would be aware of it. Unless I'm just an idiot and can't tell that my own vision is distorted.

Posted by Brandon on Wednesday 04th Nov 2009 (11:15 UTC)

I use to stare at the sun when i was a kid, now I am wondering if it did hurt my eyes, I am noticing damage and I use to be able to see better, plus I see little floters, now. almost like I can see thought a microscope and my normal vision at the same time, I belive this is me seeing the bad things in my eye, I have done it recently as well. this is why I looked this up. I am making ir filters for my camera. and thought I could use it to look at the sun, but I guess not I was on the hoya ir filters web page and they told me not to use the filter to look at the sun, it will still hurt my eye, and you can hardly see thought a band pass filter, I am talking about a filter with a pass around 700 nano meters to like 1000 nano meters.


and the hoya site, this might help some of you.

Matthew Gorveatte

Posted by Matthew Gorveatte on Sunday 08th Nov 2009 (11:46 UTC)

I find these comments really interesting. Personally I look at the Sun all the time. It usually turns a bluish color and when I look away I can see a pink circle where the Sun used to be. This effect goes away in usually a few seconds, or occasionally a minute or two after I look away. I currently do not have any problems and I find it hard to believe that I will develop serious problems later in life. I think this is because generally, I look at the sun when it's high in the sky which means it's a brighter day and our apertures (pupils) are smaller to allow less light to come in. The same effect occurs at sunrise/sunset because since there is so much light, that light doesn't actually damage our eyes as much. I do, however agree with not staring during an eclipse since the every thing is darker meaning our pupils are open wider. Also, I want to thank you for your video because that illustrates how dangerous it could be to look through a lens. I have experienced this once when I looked through binoculars at the sun. It was extremely intense, so I looked away after less than half a second, and I was instantly aware of the possible damage I could have done had I looked longer (I could actually feel heat on my eye). But, generally, I think people are overreacting when they think they will go blind by looking at the sun with their naked eye for just a few seconds. I think your body's natural reflexes will help save you some damage.

Posted by Amir on Friday 13th Nov 2009 (07:32 UTC)


I recently (a couple years ago) passed an eye exam with flying colors, so I know that I haven't done any damage to my eyes to date.

Also, I have to disagree with your comparison about carbon monoxide. It's a different situation entirely, The molecule is more attracted to red blood cells than oxygen so the gas actually sort of tricks the blood into thinking it's O2 and once they bond it's too late. But with the eye, our body is actually designed to counter the amount of light by making the pupil smaller. (like a camera automatically makes its aperture smaller when there is a really bright light. What is dangerous, and thus comparable to the carbon monoxide is an eclipse. Like I said before, because the surrounding area is dark, our pupils dilate to enable us to see things. The extremely bright nature of the sun will damage your eyes. So in a sense, our eyes are "tricked" during an eclipse, but not during everyday viewing since our eyes are designed to adjust. I don't recommend staring for a long time at the sun because eventually the rays do burn a hole in the retina, causing permanent damage. Staring for just a few seconds won't do permanent damage, although it may damage it a little, the retina can correct the issue.

Posted by Amir on Friday 13th Nov 2009 (08:06 UTC)

hi i live in ireland near knock. you might have heard about the recent apparitions there of mary. Many have claimed the see the sun dancing in the sky.

i wasnt in knock but on the day of the apparition at 3.00 the time mary was suppose to appear i was walking to the shop,when i just clanced at the sun that exact monment i couldnt believe my eyes ,it was spining on uts axis and moving in a zig zag pattern towards the earth,it was changing colours. it wasnt bright but a small disc and was easy to look at it. i stared at it for a half an hour,also there was another woman there who stared at it for the same time period.

after that my eyes were completly fine. A month past and i was walking to the shop again at 9.00 in the morning, this time the sun appeared to be much brighter than the first time but again was spining and moving in a zig zag pattern..shocked again i rang my friends who also seen was happening all day and when we were travelling in the car i would stare at it for a while and look away.

later that day i had a blind spot in both eyes, i cant make out peoples faces far away and i find it difficult to read. im also suffering from bad head aches. ive been in the hospital all week , and they took photograghs from the back of my eye.they told me ive burned the retina in my eye badly. they were shocked at the effects and seemed to be angry at what was going on in knock.

they said that the sun does not spin ,its your eyes playing tricks.

I still believe something is happening with the sun,i have never seen such a thing in my life. why hasnt any astronmists noticed this before...thousands have witnessed it but only in holy places. like megjagory ..fatima ..knock. im not saying its a holy phenonemon. but i do think the sun is 'dancing' as people call it.

the doctor says that my eyes might heal themselves im hoping that this bind spot will get better as im very distressed over it.

i would not recommend to look at the sun under any circumstances!! not look at the sun dancing in the dont want a blind spot trust me!

Posted by marie-clare on Friday 27th Nov 2009 (16:02 UTC)

gravatarMarie-clare, why do you think the object or effect you were looking at was the Sun?

Posted by Stuart on Friday 27th Nov 2009 (16:28 UTC)

yes definitely was the sun no doubt about that!

Posted by Marie clare on Saturday 28th Nov 2009 (12:40 UTC)

gravatarSorry, I wasn't asking if you were convinced that it was the Sun. I was wondering what it was about it that made you decide that it was the Sun?

Posted by Stuart on Saturday 28th Nov 2009 (18:03 UTC)

when it stopped spining it returned to its original position and we could not look at it any more as it was too bright. what else could it be...and since it was what i was looking at that burned the retina in my assuming it was the sun!

Posted by Marie-clare on Sunday 29th Nov 2009 (02:17 UTC)

i agree with many comments on this board reason im reading intosuch things is because abouta year ago my eye sight started deteriating i told my optiction he said it was something called floaters and there was nothing he could do it was "normal" well in anger afew days later i looked at the sun twice both times 3 seconds each after i have had likelines in my vision cant see in the dark ect so i go to the hospital and he said after all this they could of done something about my condition so ive demaged my sight forever for no reason... moral of the story dont risk looking at the sun if you cant handle the damage it will have done that i will and you wouldhave to live with for ever.. Gc

Posted by Guy C on Thursday 03rd Dec 2009 (17:19 UTC)

this is extremely useful information for astronomers. however for people with office jobs this might be important too.

Posted by jen on Tuesday 08th Dec 2009 (02:03 UTC)

gravatarThese comments are actually quite interesting. A lot have said that after staring at the sun for a few seconds, and then looking away, they see a pink circle in their sight in the same position as the sun used to be.

This happens to me as well - whenever I look at a powerful lamp for, say, 5 seconds, and then look away, closing my eyes tightly, I see a pink/purple circle form where the bulb was in my vision. It fades away quite quickly though - after around 3 seconds it would be gone.

What I'm trying to say is, what's with all the pink??

Posted by Stephan on Saturday 12th Dec 2009 (18:22 UTC)

once i looked at the sun directly just because my sister told me. we both looked at it for several seconds and then all looked green and sort of blurry. i didn't know it was dangerous.

maybe that's why i use glasses right now.

Posted by fernando on Wednesday 30th Dec 2009 (05:15 UTC)

i dont think looking at the sun at evening when it is about to set can hurt your eyes.. it looks bright orange..its not even feelng hot at that time and even no spots can be seen even if we look at it for a long time..infact it looks perfectly round and in a 3D effect...if spots cannot be seen after looking at it at that time how can it damage the eyes?just my experience...well not recommended at all in the hours between...

Posted by vinod on Monday 04th Jan 2010 (03:28 UTC)

The colored spot on your eye is called an "afterimage." Afterimages happen when the color-sensitive cells on the back of your eye get bombarded with a lot of colored light that stimulates them heavily. For some time afterwards, they will keep giving false reports that they're seeing a color, even if they really aren't. Eventually, they calm down. That's where the pink or green spots are coming from.

An afterimage doesn't mean your eyes have been damaged all by itself; it's easy to get them, even from light sources that aren't all that bright compared to something like the Sun (or the beam of a laser pointer, which focuses about the same amount of light on a given spot as the Sun does- ask someone with a physics degree to do the math if you don't believe me).

Very bright light (like direct sunlight or the beam of a bright laser pointer) *can* cause real, permanent eye damage. You won't feel any heating or pain, because there aren't any nerves inside your eyeballs to pick up the pain. You just burn out patches of cells.

How much exposure it takes to cause damaging burns on the eye is a tough question. It's best to avoid looking at anything that intense at all, but if your child looks at the Sun for a few seconds or something it doesn't mean they're going to go completely blind. Staring into the Sun for minutes or hours, on the other hand, is foolish and self-destructive.

Posted by Simon_Jester on Saturday 09th Jan 2010 (05:01 UTC)


How about in the morning, when the sun is just rising? On some days in Hawaii, we have "vog" (volcanic haze) that makes the sun appear very round, very red/orange, and has no blaring sunrays. It's like the sun on the Japanese flag. Could I glance then?



Posted by Tim on Monday 11th Jan 2010 (17:51 UTC)

i cam't look...

Posted by eastside.: on Sunday 07th Feb 2010 (02:43 UTC)

My Name is Rosemary, and I did something foolish when I was 11 years old. I am now 22 years old..


I looked at the sun with a binoculars, for a while. When I came back to the house, the lightbulb was pink. I was so foolish , but now I am curious about eye damage.

I can see things perfectly. I have never needed glasses....

I am worried about the damage caused.

How long does it take for damage to show? Years?

In what ways would the damage present itself?

Posted by Rosie on Sunday 07th Feb 2010 (09:36 UTC)

omg did you know that www stands for world wide web ???? i guess you learn something new everyday huh ??

Posted by alexia marie on Tuesday 09th Feb 2010 (16:46 UTC)

heyyy all the white peoplezzz

Posted by hellie on Tuesday 09th Feb 2010 (16:50 UTC)

the word is=sun father is our sun well part of him is:)he requires we look at him than dont. google sungaze and see for your eyes. when u comunicate with a parent we use our eyes.the 2012 asscencion is the use of the sun.there r techniques where sungazin is safe and natural and the benefits r endless. this is our gift guys:) time to wake its time:)we have been suppressed from our rightful truth. love with heart key to future.

Posted by pirreli on Wednesday 24th Feb 2010 (23:46 UTC)

There certainly are safe ways to observe the Sun. Properly rated sun viewers are one.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 25th Feb 2010 (15:50 UTC)

keep looking.

Posted by junyeur on Thursday 04th Mar 2010 (07:18 UTC)

do it.

Posted by sooon2102 on Monday 08th Mar 2010 (23:32 UTC)

They can't stop you.

Posted by The Sun Above The Pyramid on Wednesday 10th Mar 2010 (04:34 UTC)

They can't stop you.

Posted by The Sun Above The Pyramid on Wednesday 10th Mar 2010 (04:34 UTC)

They can't stop you.

Posted by The Sun Above The Pyramid on Wednesday 10th Mar 2010 (04:35 UTC)

Strange, when I was 6 or 7 I looked directly at the sun. And if anything unless I am mistaken I feel that since that day i have better eye sight.

Posted by DAN on Saturday 08th May 2010 (09:19 UTC)

I have also spent hours staring at the sun. As a child, it felt sooo good. Like it was tickling my brain. I did it almost every day. Now, though, at age 28, it does not feel good and I rarely (maybe once a year) do it. Supposedly the Yogi who doesn't eat or drink gets nourishment from the sun. Part of my wants to scream a skeptic roar but another part is irresistibly interested.

Posted by Aerond on Wednesday 12th May 2010 (18:28 UTC)

That's great. It's very interesting.

I hope you can write more about it.

Thank you.

Akoya pearl


Akoya Pearl


Akoya pearl


Akoya pearl


Posted by jewelry on Sunday 16th May 2010 (09:32 UTC)

At school when i was younger 3-4 years ago , i was doing stupid shit with the guys the one who look longer at the sun...and honestly it wasnt hard at all to look at it(even if i got blue eyes) and keep looking....for.....geez..30-45seconde for sure yeah im pretty sure around that. and i did that alot of time! like....min5-6 time???8-9maximum

im pretty sure and aware that it wasnt good but honestly it i could erase that i would so badly i dont think i noticed the damage YET im wearing glasse dailyfulltime too...

One thing is sure!

Don't Look At The Sun!!!


Posted by Max on Tuesday 15th Jun 2010 (07:50 UTC)

Just so you know... there is a meditative practice calles "solar gazing" where practitioners dileberately look straight into the sun with the naked eye. It is typically practiced when the sun is relatively low on the horizon. I've done it many, many times without any damage... I still have perfect eyesight. So the old adage of "don't ever look into the sun" is not exactly correct. More info here:

Posted by Trent on Monday 12th Jul 2010 (13:19 UTC)

I rapidly changed to eyepiece projection. WHich has the added advantage that many people can watch with you. It was a hit for the transit of Venus.

Posted by earth4energy on Wednesday 25th Aug 2010 (13:15 UTC)

When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six I did.

At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood.

The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly, daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see. But something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache.

Posted by Maximillian Cohen on Sunday 19th Sep 2010 (06:52 UTC)

I have only looked at the sun for one or two seconds at a time so i have never had any problems and hope I never do. To everyone out there, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN! It is VERY DANGEROUS!!!

By the way, this site is cool. I liked the video. I was on here because i was doing research for my science in school. Thanks!

Posted by kenobifan on Thursday 23rd Sep 2010 (18:58 UTC)

I have only looked at the sun for one or two seconds at a time so i have never had any problems and hope I never do. To everyone out there, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN! It is VERY DANGEROUS!!!

By the way, this site is cool. I liked the video. I was on here because i was doing research for my science in school. Thanks!

Posted by kenobifan on Thursday 23rd Sep 2010 (18:58 UTC)

I have only looked at the sun for one or two seconds at a time so i have never had any problems and hope I never do. To everyone out there, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN! It is VERY DANGEROUS!!!

By the way, this site is cool. I liked the video. I was on here because i was doing research for my science in school. Thanks!

Posted by kenobifan on Thursday 23rd Sep 2010 (18:58 UTC)

I have only looked at the sun for one or two seconds at a time so i have never had any problems and hope I never do. To everyone out there, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN! It is VERY DANGEROUS!!!

By the way, this site is cool. I liked the video. I was on here because i was doing research for my science in school. Thanks!

Posted by kenobifan on Thursday 23rd Sep 2010 (18:58 UTC)

yes i understood that all .

So what about looking at the MOON.

Posted by adan on Wednesday 06th Oct 2010 (15:16 UTC)

lol - "Moses" looks at the sun unharmed - parts the sea's too.

Do not do it - seconds will do you harm.

Posted by mikey on Monday 18th Oct 2010 (08:42 UTC)

I look directly into the sun for prolonged periods of time with no ill effects. I will provide video or photographic proof if disputed. hi to the guy above - fellow sun drinker. We must have the same DNA.

I agree - believe it will do damage and it will. Otherwise enjoy the sensory overload of photons.

Posted by Jeff on Tuesday 26th Oct 2010 (03:07 UTC)

My Story goes like this!

Here is my story As a word of Warning I cannot stress the fact to say like as the author stated NEVER EVER LOOK AT THE SUN AT ALL FOR ANY REASON IF you do WEAR SUPER PROTECTIVE SHADES when for example going to the beach if through a telescope go to day sun party were lots of astronomers look at the sun with special filters Etc. I will Tell my story now and Please If you are reading this Pay close attention. Because I'm very serious.

When I was small I knew that my life would be about astronomy as I have always Been VERY Passionate about it. At the age of 10 I was very into astronomy and I asked my dad If I could get a telescope. He said yes. So we headed of to a department store And got myself a 50mm Plastic Refractor. The days went by and I was happily viewing planets and the moon.

One day I thought What the heck I can View the Sun if I put A black plastic bag over the eyepiece! It was the dumbest thing I ever did. I looked one second and saw a little of the sun but the bag ripped and the sunlight came through and my quick reflexes pulled me away. I saw it for a sec and 1 Second makes a big difference. Years later at 16 years old I started to see blurry. I needed glasses. 3 Years later and I'm 19 I was stupid once more! about 2 days ago I decided hmm I can make a 60mm Refractor and Stack Planetary Filters to darken the sun out! And thats what I did. I viewed it and Well It was ok. 2 Days later and I think That IR rays from the sun have come through. I can see fine of course But my eyes started hurting.

I put Eye Droplets in my eye and I feel better now. My Story goes to show that While it may look harmless Please don't Do it. I WILL NEVER EVER LOOK AT THE SUN EVER AGAIN. My next plan is to get SOLAR BAADAR SAFETY Film to put over my scopes BUT I will not look through it I will use a camera to do the work for me! I hope in the coming months and weeks that my eyes get better. I feel That its going to be ok. But I also feel that I may have done some damage. I see none yet But I will treasure my eyes from now On its a lesson learned and am glad I can still see. That is why I have decided to be an astronomer as well. My eyes have shown me amazing things. Its the 1 Human Body part that we All need to really function well. So stay safe! thank you For reading my story. And Happy Halloween All!

Posted by Edgar on Sunday 31st Oct 2010 (02:31 UTC)

Turn to God and all your problems will become will be answered,Pray and ask him to help you in the name of Jesus Christ and believe

Posted by A believer on Sunday 07th Nov 2010 (21:13 UTC)

Thank you for posting the video! I've always been kind of curious and have battled with this part of my personality every time there is a solar eclipse. I'd think "just once? A quick peak?". But the sight of the charred "bullethole" in that grape has made me lose any remaining appetite for sun-gazing.

Posted by whoop on Monday 20th Dec 2010 (23:30 UTC)

I have starred at the eclips of the sun whenever it accured. The first one that I starred at was in the summer of 1961 or 1962 or 1963. Never took my eyes off of it till it was complete. I didn't feel anything different in my eyes during that time or after. Later in my life I starred right at another eclips of the sun from start to finish. I can't remember what year that was. Maybe in the summer of 80's?

What would the systems be?



Posted by KK on Friday 24th Dec 2010 (18:00 UTC)

What would the..."symptoms" Not "systems"

Posted by KK on Friday 24th Dec 2010 (18:10 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 (16:47 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 (16:47 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 (16:47 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 (16:47 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 (16:47 UTC)

nice post,buy contact lenses at

Posted by bob on Friday 28th Jan 2011 (05:48 UTC)

Intense light from the sun is detrimental to the eyes. It is dangerous to look into the sun. I also believe that people who have been raised in northern climates, where there is less sunshine (or less pollution) cannot handle too much sun or brightness.

Posted by Nadia Radzyminski on Saturday 29th Jan 2011 (14:51 UTC)

I do not believe staring at the sun is dangerous unless there is a solar eclise. When there is about 6 times as much light reaches the retina, because the pupil constricts and focuses light through the lens of the eye straight onto the retinal cells. I've seen the sun at least two hundred times, and I am 16 1/2. I've glanced at the sun back and forth on the way to and home from school, I've seen sunsets, I've even looked at the sun for a couple seconds on and off while it was at it's highest point in the sky as bright as can be. No dice, no damage. I still have beyond-perfect 20/20 vision (yes I can read one below the last line of letters your required to, and I have a friend who claims to be able to even see the copyright information at the bottomost section) and if I add a drop of water on my CRT monitor's screen I can see the red green and blue pixels. Obviously my eyesight is spectacular if I can see minute details even from feet away. The only problem I've had with my vision is visual snow and that's not something that has to do with the optics of the eye, that can all be blamed on the way my brain is processing visual information. It's always worse in dark settings but I never notice it when I'm outside during the day.

So yeah, staring at the sun isn't harmful unless there is a solar eclipse or your looking through a telescope or pair of binoculars. If you do, you'll likely fry your retinas.

The retinas can recover, as even damaged DNA in cells can be corrected, but the extent to which they can recover is not substantial, but enough that if you were to keep glancing at the sun every day, you wouldn't damage your vision (at least not noticably) and your chance of getting retinal cancer and going blind later in life is still pretty slim..

90% of our sunlight exposure comes before the age of 18 however, so it's important that we protect our eyes during our youngest years alive.

The suns reflections are not harmful, but I'm just going to recommend you wear UV-blocking sun tan and 100% UV-proof sunglasses so that you can avoid developing skin cancer and also avoid the chance of eyesight quality degradation. If you drive a car and have to look at the sun for several minutes, at least the sunglasses would be recommended.

With this, don't listen to any scare stories. My eyesight is absolutely excellent and I value it. I don't go outside an extreme amount so I can be sure my eyes have more than enough time to recover. I love the dynamic range of the lighting that the sun lays upon the Earth and the glow and warmth. The colors of trees, brush, sky and water reflecting the sky all look amazing when lit by the sun. You can enjoy the landscapes and their 'lamp' without having to stare at this star for more than 5-10 seconds. The longer you expose your retinas to the light, the warmer they get, and thus the more damage is possible.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada... so the sun here is about as intense as it can get, unless you live in Phoenix in Arizona. I've never been to the United Kingdom before, but the rest remains the same:

The sun is neat to look at for 3 seconds, but I kind of want to feast my eyes on the glory of what it sets upon, rather than look away from all the vast beautiful landscape that surrounds me.

Your not going to ruin your vision unless you do the unthinkable: have a telescope or binoculars focused on the sun with you looking through the receiving end of the focused infrared and ultraviolet radiation, cooking your retinas more effectively than a solar eclipse.

Posted by Darian Louis Cohen (FB) on Sunday 13th Feb 2011 (12:36 UTC)

Solar Eclipse*


Anyways, I can speak for most of us because where I live it gets up to 115 degrees in the summers, and focusing that 115 degrees across a spread area into a much smaller area in circumfrence can definitely get your retina smoking. I live in Southern Nevada, and Las Vegas is only about 2030 feet or 620 meters above sea level. Even during the hottest days of summer I've glanced at the sun many times briefly only to yield minor afterglow. The worst afterglow could only remain a minute or so.

Enjoy the sun, it's the only one we have for the next 4.5-5 billion years. We're certainly not going to live that long because mankind as a whole hasn't even been around a thousandth of that. No worries, though. At least we won't get to see the day when the sun swells to a red giant and SWALLOWS the first three planets, including our "Mother Earth".

Posted by Darian Louis Cohen (FB) on Sunday 13th Feb 2011 (12:44 UTC)

So that is all you really need to know. The sun isn't so big, bad, bright and frighteningly scary, it's just a relatively dim star sitting around in space just some 93 million miles away from us. It surely can't be that menacing if it's THAT far away, right?

Well anyways I've explained everything I've needed to. If you have a Face-Book or if you just want to take a look at mine go ahead. Just search Darian Louis Cohen on G00gle, or Dangerousd777, Dangerousd77, Frosdownz, Frosdownz7, Darian.C, Darian_C, for all my other work. I'm sure you'll appreciate something I did.

Posted by Darian Louis Cohen on Sunday 13th Feb 2011 (12:49 UTC)

Hey there, it's been an hour or so since I looked at the sun directly without blinking for about 10 minutes. Now that it's been an hour, I have a headache and I can't hear very well... I can see a big blue/yellow dot everywhere I see and this ever since I stopped looking at the sun. I've seen the sun before but never for so long! 10 minutes it's too much. I did it because I was bored and didn't think it would harm me. Should I be worried? I'm 17.

Posted by maria villalobos on Thursday 17th Mar 2011 (15:53 UTC)

During manic bipolar phase I stared at the sun through binoculars for periods up to a half hour at a time, forcing my eye to stay open with my fingers- by vision would totally be gone for about 3 minutes and then return to normal in about an hour- as my intent was to go blind and this didn't do it, I repeated the process probably about 50 times.(so about a total 25 hours) Still had vision but somewhat blurred. Went to optometrist and was told I had solar retinopathy, within a month my vision had totally returned to normal. I wish mythbusters would take this belief on because it is totally a myth. Looke up 'solar retinopathy' on wikipedia this seems to be one of the few pages to tell the truth.

Posted by Zack Ashby on Thursday 24th Mar 2011 (15:17 UTC)

just an addition

a great explanation of the science and sun/blindness myth behind this belief can be found at

Posted by Zack Ashby on Thursday 24th Mar 2011 (15:30 UTC)

gravatarZack, there is no mention of Galileo here. The idea of blindness caused by focussing light from a large aperture on the back of your retina does not stem from the Galileo blindness myth. It stems from the danger of concentrating sunlight from a large area.

I can't be sure if you (and some of the others who've commented) are telling the truth or if there was something peculiar about the circumstances - perhaps thick cloud/smog, the sun low on the horizon, unfocussed optics, or something else.

If you really did have the focus of binoculars (with a collecting area much larger than your eyes) focussed on your retina, the temperature would be far too much for your retina to deal with. A piece of paper very quickly bursts into flames on a sunny day when at the focus. Try putting a thermometer at the focus and measuring the temperature. Even momentarily putting your hand there is very painful.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 24th Mar 2011 (19:50 UTC)

I would be more than happy to be the subject in an experiment to prove what I am saying and lay this urban legend to rest - this was ten years ago and I have researched this extensively. If you want to select the exact conditions (binoculars, time of day, length of exposure etc.) we could film this and put it on you-tube.

I am serious and don't mean this with any malice at all.

Let's just follow the science

Posted by zack ashby on Thursday 24th Mar 2011 (23:03 UTC)

gravatarI can't condone your experiment. You won't be happy with this answer and may very well accuse me of being unscientific or something similar. I can't condone human experimentation even if you say you are a willing volunteer.

Posted by Stuart on Thursday 24th Mar 2011 (23:38 UTC)

I appreciate your post, i learn few things in this post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally Iâ™ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!


Posted by Bag Manufacturers on Saturday 09th Apr 2011 (08:54 UTC)

If I look at the sun for 5 minutes, then look at a black hole for another 5 minutes; everything should be just fine.

Because the black hole will suck the light back out of my eyes..

Posted by Keatah on Friday 15th Apr 2011 (09:13 UTC)

I dislike the sun.

I am of English and Polish northern descent, but I am also part American Indian, so I can get a suntan, but I don't burn much.

Mostly I believe that the sun is bad for the eyes.

It is hazardous to look at the sun.

Northern light is less difficult to deal with than southern light. It is just simply too bright.

Posted by Nadia Radzyminski on Saturday 23rd Apr 2011 (14:35 UTC)

this was not really funny I thought it was fujnny when the cat got killed by the dog

Posted by Brenten Smith on Thursday 19th May 2011 (16:06 UTC)

STARING AT THE SUN BOTH EARLY AND LATE IN THE DAY IS GOOD FOR YOU! A grape off of a vine is not like an eye attached to a human body. This experiment is silly and most of you are silly to believe sun-gazing "is bad" without examining the issue further. For the past twenty years I've often stared directly at the sun, even during the brightest stages of the day. Use your brain. If it's too bright then YOU WILL FEEL PAIN and it will be difficult to remain fixated on the sun. It should be common sense...your body speaks to you, and if it doesn't then your nervous system is really tainted. I've personally disproved this propaganda. Listen to me, either A:you are all brainwashed so severely that your bodies and brains will manufacture whatever result you have been conditioned to believe in by this fascist corporate-gov. regime (through both science & religion) OR B:I am a God or Superhuman and have the ability to defy the SCIENTIFIC "FACTS" most of you claim to KNOW with such great certainty. Which is it? I stare at the sun whenever I think about it and sometimes do it for over 30-60 minutes in one sitting. Staring at the sun in the morning and late afternoon is good for you mentally and physically. If somehow you really believe that you will go blind, then don't do it. That's fine. But I KNOW that I won't go blind. 20 years and I still have perfect vision, healthy skin, youthful appearance, etc. People used to worship the sun, now people worship old men and women who do nothing but enslave them and tell them the sun is "bad" for their bodies. Some of you need to detox your brains from the mainstream waste...keep yourselves clean.

Posted by Christopher Lee Ruble on Thursday 02nd Jun 2011 (10:02 UTC)

I have been looking into the sun on sun rise and setting no bad things to my eyes have shone up in eye check up's .

If you have pain its to early to be looking into the sun.

Posted by Ed on Wednesday 13th Jul 2011 (20:41 UTC)

Dear Stuart,

This is a excellent blog! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Fortunately I was told not to look at the sun when I was young and have followed that rule. I have horrible eyesight, but that's just family genetics!! LOL!!

I've enjoyed reading your answers and I wish you many happy years looking skyward!

Shalom and may G-d bless you and yours. Jeanine

Posted by Jeanine on Friday 22nd Jul 2011 (09:22 UTC)

Christopher Ruble, a few posts above, is correct. I've been looking directly at the sun for 1/2 hour or more for quite a while, in the middle of the day, and in a cloudless sky. Not only no damage but when I look the most I don't get hungry and don't need to eat food. I'm super healthy. Being under social conditioning is the sickness. Shake it!

Posted by Hazel on Saturday 13th Aug 2011 (05:33 UTC)

gravatarHazel, do you not get hungry in the middle of the day because you've had a big breakfast?

Posted by Stuart on Saturday 13th Aug 2011 (16:50 UTC)

Not that this changes the science/physics bits and all that, but I've been staring at the sun and eclipses for long periods of time every since I was a little kid, and now have excellent vision. Don't know what that means, but I know I've stared right at the sun for long stretches of time (30 minutes +) for like the past 17 years (not necessarily with any regularity) and have had no negative effects on my eyes. Are some people just different? What's the deal? Why are my retinas functioning just dandy? I don't really do it nowadays, but am I suddenly going to go blind when I turn 30? What's the word Big Bird?

Posted by jharrity on Friday 19th Aug 2011 (03:56 UTC)

I've done that. How stupid I was.

Anyway, I've got a blind spot on my right eye, too. I was afraid that if it was going to be permanent, and the doctor said that my retina was damaged.

But as time passes by, my eye recovered itseft. Although sometimes I do notice the vague vestige of the spot, especially when I blink my eyes, but now I can read, see, and tell people's faces. And it's getting better and better. Just eat food that is good for eyes. Such as blueberries.

Posted by Terry on Thursday 25th Aug 2011 (19:26 UTC)

Really a great stuff is provided by you here regarding how to protect your skin from sun. I appreciate your points and hope, you will continue sharing your thoughts in near future also. Keep it up.

Posted by Laser Hair Removal Philadelphia on Monday 10th Oct 2011 (11:47 UTC)

when i was nine i looked at the sunn through a magnifying glass and now im blind..

Posted by jockey on Wednesday 12th Oct 2011 (22:11 UTC)

There is no harm in looking directly into the sun with your bare eyes. The light will be too bright to hold its stare at first but with practice you can begin to look at it for longer. Once your eyes adjust to the brightness you stop seeing that blind flash of light you get when you look at a light then blink.

My eyesight is perfect and I have never had any long lasting problems with looking at the sun. I do not recommend looking at it with a telescope or anything that focuses and magnifies the light as this causes a major focus of heat. Your eyes are far more complex than a magnifying glass or telescope. Your eyes are adapted to adjust to bright lights and extreme dark. Have you ever actually even heard of anyone going blind by looking at the sun directly? Do some research before you listen to other people telling you what you can't do. Part of being human is exploring your limits. We evolved over thousands of years with the sun high in the sky each day, so it can't be that bad for us. If it was I guarantee there would be a lot more people blind on the planet. I'm not saying try it, but don't not try it just because someone told you you cant.

Ps I just looked directly into the sun for around 5 minutes. My eyes were watering, after I seen a bit of yellow tint on things for less than a minute, then that went away. I can see perfect. No damage as of yet. I'll let ye know when i'm 60 if I go blind.

Posted by Matt on Tuesday 01st Nov 2011 (14:54 UTC)

can corrective laser surgery fix the damage of staring into the sun?

Posted by Santino Cherrry on Wednesday 09th Nov 2011 (02:57 UTC)

i can and do look into the sun for at least 2 hours a day, and have been for years.I can see better than anyone I know, and very clear. I am looking for some real input,


Posted by w franklin sayers on Monday 14th Nov 2011 (00:57 UTC)

where dose god come in this

Posted by jakeo on Friday 09th Dec 2011 (22:09 UTC)

Always look at the sun. You have two eyes for a reason, one is to look at the moon and the other is to look at the sun. You will not go blind, trust me. It is good for you.

Posted by Raneed Puramara on Saturday 24th Dec 2011 (08:23 UTC)

Hi my name is Amber and i,ve looked directly at the sun, the first time i tried to look at the sun i started from the shade and worked my vision up to the sun slowly. when my eyes reached the sun it had a purplish violet ring around it. people say it will blind you. i can prove them wrong.

Posted by Amber on Sunday 08th Jan 2012 (04:51 UTC)

Just today, I was using my binoculars in the day time and I was looking over the beach with the Sun facing me. I was very careful not to point the binoculars at the Sun, but the glare from the sand, water, and sky have made my eyes feel very tired. I am pretty sure I have damaged my eyes because I was looking through binoculars at day time. Please, I wish anyone reading this NEVER to use a telescope, binoculars, or any magnification device in the day time!!! The Sun's scattered light can easily damage the sensitive photo-receptors in the eyes and they are painless when dying so you can never be too careful. Please.

Posted by Do_Not_Look_At_The_Sun on Sunday 19th Feb 2012 (18:07 UTC)

First of all, Id like to say WOW I cant belive I just read all these comments.

Second, Id like to complimet you Stuart for this article it was very good in my opinion.

And third, This arguement about whether the sun is good or bad for your eyes, its too much. OK, maybe SOME peoples eyes are more sensitive than others, and they get damaged more easily, but if you just glance at the sun with your nacked eye, you shouldnt worry too much. Worry if you see it through a telescope or binocular, THEN you should worry. But please, dont act like you know everything "Oh, the sun is good for you, I do it all the time." NO. I mean, sometimes I look at the sun for maybe 7 seconds, it doesnt hurt me. So, yeah. Just cause your fine, doesnt mean everyone else is.

Posted by Ali on Tuesday 06th Mar 2012 (23:37 UTC)

Stuart, I'm so sorry you get questions and responses from boneheads and there ill attempts at humor. They're the ones, as children, that stood in line at their psychotic neighbors makeshift carnival booth trying to win a puppy by staring at the sun. Fact is, staring at the sun is never a "bright" idea. Even the mentally challenged muster up enough common sense to figure out that this is probably not a good idea. I do have one question for you. Can the rods and/or cones in your eyes regenerate or are they permanenty depleted like the brain cells of some of your fetal alcohol readers?

Posted by mike on Tuesday 03rd Apr 2012 (03:53 UTC)

Good blog, I came here curious about the sun blinding people through telescopes. I even get headaches if I wear prescription glasses outdoors and I'm sure it's from the sun. I can't stand to go out of doors from dawn til dusk without good polarised sunglasses, cheap unpolarised ones give me a headache too.

Posted by Heather on Friday 20th Apr 2012 (06:10 UTC)

Posted by kelly on Saturday 02nd Jun 2012 (20:05 UTC)

Just adding a note.

Posted by Stuart on Tuesday 05th Jun 2012 (19:53 UTC)

Updating note.

Posted by Stuart on Tuesday 05th Jun 2012 (19:56 UTC)

Hi Guys .


If you use a PC Tablet or Ipad to view the transit of Venus or an eclipse , can you go Blind. Its not looking directly into the sun rather using the screen to view it, but you are blocking the sun itself with the screen of the ipad .


Posted by david H on Wednesday 06th Jun 2012 (21:13 UTC)


Posted by aisling maloney on Tuesday 19th Jun 2012 (17:54 UTC)

Hi I've just watched an episode of The Sky at Night which featured the transit on Venus, during the programme there were fleeting glances of a quadrant like piece of equipment used for safely viewing the Sun. Does anyone have the plans for this piece of equipment as I would like to make one for my Grand-kids?

Thanks John.

Posted by John Jenkins on Saturday 14th Jul 2012 (12:55 UTC)

gravatarJohn, I think that was a "sunspotter" and was being demoed by Dr Lucy Green. Here is an example of one:

Posted by Stuart on Saturday 14th Jul 2012 (16:06 UTC)

Thanks Stuart, that's virtually the same article working on exactly the same principal. What I'm really after is finding out the geometry between the receiving lens and the display, it looks as though there is a mirror that reflects the incoming image up to a lens then down onto the white viewing screen but is that some sort of prism along side of the square mirror? The URL that you gave me was a great help but a bit pricey, so I think I'll try and make my own.

Thanks again John.

Posted by John Jenkins on Saturday 14th Jul 2012 (23:44 UTC)


What made you look at the sun to begin with?

Posted by H.A on Wednesday 18th Jul 2012 (17:34 UTC)


What made you look at the sun to begin with?

Posted by H.A on Wednesday 18th Jul 2012 (17:34 UTC)

I really need an answer. My toddler son and I stayed at a shelter to leave a bad domestic situation but events happened that seemed almost unexplainable. I was told I was hypnotized there (another resident suggested this) and a lot of "coincidences" occured. My son started getting bullied at PRE school and it seemed like whatever I would think about would happen. If I thought about a store for example I would immediately see that store's truck drive by if I was driving. I am extremely concerned about a lot of what happened while we stayed at this place and what has happened since.

I feel unaffected visually by the sun. I can look straight at it and not see spots anymore. Magnets (the refrigerator kind) often stick to the side of my head and I have gotten intense headaches!

Posted by MA on Wednesday 17th Oct 2012 (22:17 UTC)

I have been looking at the sun for almost 60 years. I have also been welding without a mask for 40 years. ( I use sunglasses to protect against metal splatter, but nor DARK glasses) I was searching Google for others who do this today and found this post. PS I don't even wear glasses to read. And yes I am telling you the truth. I started doing it before I was convinced it is dangerous...wonder why it is ? Have YOU personally ever seen people go blind from 'sunlight'?

Posted by Darryl 'SpOoK' Hetherington on Tuesday 06th Nov 2012 (05:36 UTC)

while i do not dispute the dangers of the sun i am curious how looking directly at the sun is anymore dangerous than looking outside in a bright day. i mean even if its not straight on the light still hits the eye no matter what, we still get same level of radiation and IR energy. how is 1 angle more deadly than another?

Posted by will on Tuesday 13th Nov 2012 (01:45 UTC)

gravatarDarryl, no I haven't personally seen people "go blind from 'sunlight'". I haven't seen anyone have a heart attack, I haven't seen a car crash happen, and I haven't seen anyone die either. You should probably note that my blog post (up top there) is about not looking through a *telescope* at the Sun.

Will, looking in a random direction on the sky you'll only see that light which is scattered by particles in the atmosphere to your eye. Those particles also scatter the light in other directions and it is only a small fraction that makes it to your eye. Also, the scattering process scatters differently with wavelength of light. Looking at the disc of the Sun is very different. You are getting far more photons of light into your eye. So, actually, the light doesn't hit your eye no matter what. Also, you don't get the same level of radiation and IR energy. The variation arises because one angle involves looking at the light directly and one involves looking at light that has gone through a process of scattering.

Posted by Stuart on Friday 21st Dec 2012 (10:58 UTC)

I looked directly at the sun for about 10 minutes. I believe I was able to do so, because of a very heavy heart and sorrow. I saw blue lights streaking around it as the sun seemed to be coming closer. The sorrow went away and i could handle the suffering of my closest brother before his passing. I don't belong to any organized religion and i believe the naming of a God is a human weakness. But as i looked at the sun, i felt i was delivered a message of a life so vastly different in an unnamed place than what we live on earth. It's like being stuck in mud in comparison. It relieved my stress and sorrow. I haven't been able to look into the sun again and didn't develop any eye problems. In fact, my eyes are better. If you laugh, that's ok, if you say i was dreaming, that's ok too, but it's the truth. I hardly ever tells lies other that the one i told about being a great athlete and could have played in the National football league. No one i've told believe it. OK.

Posted by Richard on Monday 25th Feb 2013 (23:48 UTC)

Some think they know the answers, but I say none of us do or ever will. What we know would amount to an unmeasurable fraction of what and how the universe operate and it's connection to us, whether it be a scientist or a regular person. We can only report what we THINK is truthfully or what seems to be unexplainable. There may be reasonable explanation. But for now, I know of none. No one can be sure whether another is correct or not, without proven explanation.

Posted by Richard on Tuesday 26th Feb 2013 (00:18 UTC)

I ordered give pairs of contacts n still haven't received them they.said up to days n it's been that n they didn't put my whole address it's 4229 10th St Ecorse Michigan 48229 n I have not got them n nobody will respond back to me I spent 139 dollars for something I don't have so if someone could help me.plz 313

Posted by Tara mcreyolds on Thursday 14th Mar 2013 (19:45 UTC)

I also has history of looking at the sun directly with my both eyes alternately for about 5 to 8 minutes continuously without using any dark glasses or any shield, at about 11 am when I was 20 yrs old. Now I am 51 yrs old. Now I work as a Medical Doctor. Atua is just my untrue name. I am shy why I have to do this stupid thing.I will clarify further about its effect later.

Posted by Atua on Saturday 16th Mar 2013 (04:27 UTC)

Yes Faith L., what you had experienced after looking at the sun is the same condition on what I am suffering now. Some of the complications on my sight until now are distortion of figures at the point of focussing such as bulging, crooked and broken straight line.The peripheral part of vision, I mean the area around and outside the focussing point, the visual acuity was normal. At night time, when I looked at distant road lamp, I saw several ghost images around the original lamp. I swear that all these are true happenings on me.

Posted by Atua on Saturday 16th Mar 2013 (16:49 UTC)

The article has a great information.Thanks for the share.

Posted by eye site optical on Tuesday 02nd Apr 2013 (11:32 UTC)

yo i hate the sun

Posted by uerytytytr on Tuesday 07th May 2013 (20:50 UTC)


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