Although the best option to view the August 21 solar eclipse on Monday is with a pair of special glasses, chances are very good you’ve been busy, lazy, or something in between and just have not gotten around to scoring a pair of those sweet spectacles. But you still want to look at the eclipse! So you might be saying to yourself shouldn’t it be okay to watch the eclipse through a window?

The special eclipse glasses going around have a particularly thick layer of glass, so many are reasoning that a thick window should also do the trick.

That’s totally wrong. It’s not safe too watch the eclipse through a window, be it at home or in your car or your office or wherever else. A glass pane is specifically designed to let sunlight in as transparently as possible. Your eyes will not be protected by a conventional window.

The eclipse causes sunlight to concentrate into an extremely small area. When light becomes narrowly focused like that, it also becomes really hot. Looking at the eclipse without protection is a good way to fry out your retinas.

Don’t be an idiot on Monday if you’re planning to catch the eclipse. A window is not the way to watch the eclipse.

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