Ball State University to distribute 10,000 solar eclipse glasses ahead of viewing party

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MUNCIE, Ind.-- Ball State University will distribute 10,000 solar eclipse glasses to help protect eyes on campus.

The eclipse will occur on Aug. 21, which is also BSU's first day of classes.

A partial eclipse of the sun is more dangerous to the eyes than a full eclipse, officials say. Hoosiers in east-central Indiana will be able to see almost all of the sun blocked by the moon. BSU officials say the best viewing time on campus will be from about 2:25 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Dayna Thompson, assistant director of Ball State’s Charles W. Brown Planetarium, says viewing the eclipse without protection can cause severe vision loss or permanent eye damage. There are no pain receptors in the retina, so people wouldn't feel the damage they are causing.

The injuries may not be noticeable until several hours later. The only way to look at the eclipse safely is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar protective viewers, Thompson said.

Ball State will distribute glasses at the Scramble Light at the intersection of Riverside and McKinley avenues, and at an eclipse viewing party from 2 to 3 p.m. on the University Green next to Shafer Tower.

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