Multiple exposure of solar eclipse phases

Every so often, nature treats us to a spectacle that transcends the ordinary, captivating our imaginations and reminding us of the awe-inspiring beauty of the cosmos. The April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse is one such event. Even though most of Michigan won’t see totality, the sun will be about 95% covered in our area.

In Allegan County, the eclipse will start at 1:58 PM, peak at 3:14 PM, and end at 4:27 PM.  This spectacle of nature will be viewed by many, but safety precautions must be followed. It is never a good idea to look directly into the sun. When viewing a solar eclipse, it is important to take safety precautions to avoid long-term injury to the eyes.

Here are some tips on safe viewing of the eclipse from Allegan County Health Department.


  • Use eclipse glasses or solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 standards (sometimes written as ISO 12312-2:2015). But do not stare continuously at the sun. Take breaks and give your eyes a rest.

  • Use a box pinhole viewer. Learn how to make one

  • Use a pinhole projector. Learn how to make one

  • Use your hands to cast shadows on the ground. Cross your hands with fingers slightly spread to create a waffle pattern. Look down and you will see the spaces between your fingers project a shadow image of the sun in a crescent shape during the partial eclipse stages.

  • Look at shadows on the ground, such as under a leafy tree, during the partial eclipse. You can see the crescent sun shadows projected by the spaces between the leaves.



  • Do not look at the sun directly.

  • Do not view through regular sunglasses. No matter how dark they are, they will not protect your eyes.

  • Do not use damaged eclipse sunglasses or solar viewers. If they are torn, scratched or punctured, do not use them and throw them away. If the filters are coming out of their frames, discard them.

  • Do not use homemade filters.

  • Do not view through welder's glass. The glass in most welding helmets is not strong enough.

  • Do not view through your camera viewfinder.

  • Do not view through a telescope without the proper solar filter. Do not view the telescope using your eclipse sunglasses either.

  • Do not view through binoculars.



Remember, looking directly into a solar eclipse for any amount of time can be damaging to the human eye, so top priority is to prepare for eye safety! Utilize the following resources to prepare everyone for a safe and exciting learning experience:

Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani