When Lou Tomososki was a teenager, he did a few crazy things like all other kids do. But one thing he did for a mere 20 seconds in the 1960s cost him something irreplaceable.
His science teacher had informed the students about an upcoming solar eclipse that they could check out. But that 20-second glimpse at a solar eclipse robbed Lou of his sight.
Some of his friends used cardboard to protect their eyes, but he did not. That caused permanent damage to his right eye and almost complete loss of sight.
When Lou visited the eye doctor later on in life, the optometrist knew right away that he had taken a peek at a solar eclipse before Lou ever said one word. Lou said the doctor compared his eye's exposure to the sun as being similar to today's laser surgery.
For years, Lou has never been able to read anything with his right eye alone. The pea-sized blank spot in his right eye significantly impacted his vision. Lou advised anyone who wants to watch the upcoming solar eclipse to heed his advice.
“Watch it get dark. Don't look up at the sun, especially young children … You'll be sorry.”
Experts advise people interested in watching the Aug. 21 solar eclipse to obtain and wear proper eye protection. It can be dangerous to wear eclipse glasses that are fake and do not meet safety standards, which require glasses to block 99.99 percent of the sun's rays.
There are groups and entities hosting solar eclipse watch parties, such as city parks and recreation departments and public libraries. Make sure that the glasses being offered for use at those events are up to par and protective.
Who knew that such significant danger lurks behind such an impressive scientific phenomenon?