I thought I knew the answer to this question, but it's more complicated than you might think. If you're planning to view the upcoming total solar eclipse that will reach totality over Missouri, can you safely view it through a welding mask? The answer is yes and no.

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I don't think I'm revealing breaking news to you when I say that you should never ever look directly at the sun without sufficient protection. Since the upcoming historic total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will be visible in totality over Missouri, this is a question many will need to answer.

This began as a wondering as I have many friends who unlike me work for a living and do some welding. When I asked them this solar eclipse question, they laughed so I decided not to rely on their expertise.

Can you safely view the total solar eclipse in Missouri through a welding mask or not?

Phillips Safety says yes and no. They say that even with a high 14 shade rating, the sun is still too bright for you to safely view it through a welding mask. But, once it reaches totality in Missouri just after 2pm on April 8, 2024, you CAN view the eclipsed sun through a welding mask.

But wait, NASA says there ARE welding masks that are certified to view the sun for the entire eclipse. The requirements are extreme though with a rating of ISO 12312-2:2015.

NASA also says that your eyes aren't the only part of your body that will be in danger if you're viewing the total solar eclipse in Missouri in April. If the skies are clear, those attending eclipse viewing parties will need to be aware that they'll need sunscreen on their skin also.

Space.com has a great guide to finding certified (and safe) solar eclipse viewing glasses. Better to be safe and enjoy this historic sky moment in Missouri than to be dealing with vision loss as a result.

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