When Lou Tomosoki was but a boy at Marshall High School in Oregon, people weren’t welcoming a special astronomical event with such intensity as in today’s world. Therefore, he and his friend didn’t find it dangerous to witness a partial solar eclipse in 1962 without protection. It happened that they looked up in the sky to see how the sun became a black abyss with a silver halo. Unfortunately, this experience left him with a partial blindness.
Lou Tomosoki and His Friend Paid Their Unprotected Glance at the Eclipse with Partial Blindness
Lou Tomosoki recounted how he had seen flashes of light within seconds after he gazed at the partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware that the sun was still powerful enough to inflict permanent damages. As a consequence, both he and his friend became the victims of the 1962 eclipse. Tomosoki can’t see well with his right eye while his friend lost accuracy in his left one.
The 70-year-old Oregon City local claimed that his teachers instructed them on what to do when the phenomenon appears to seize this opportunity. The main focus was to avoid looking directly at the eclipse. Instead, adults told them to gaze through a pinhole projector box. This way, they would only see a projection of the stellar event.
Even During an Eclipse, Sun Rays Can Still Damage the Retina
Lou Tomosoki was just another victim of the sun. His condition is called solar retinopathy. This happens when people look directly at the sun. In this time, the powerful rays are damaging the retina. It appears as a blind spot in the center of the eye and causes partial blindness.
The thing that makes solar eclipses dangerous is that people believe that the moon makes the sun rays less powerful during the day. Therefore, they would look at the eclipse without protection. However, the reality is that the sun is as powerful as ever. Therefore, it can still impair eyesight and even the sensors of a smartphone camera.
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