What Happens When You Stare At The Sun For Too Long

– [Narrator] Whether it’s to map the stars, spy on other planets, or study the sun, humans have been looking
to the skies for millennia, but some objects are safer
to observe than others. For example, astronomer Mark
Thompson put a pig’s eye behind a regular telescope
and aimed it at the sun, and it burned a hole
straight through the lenses in about 20 seconds. Now looking at the sun through a telescope is an especially terrible idea, but just how bad is it to
glance up with the naked eye? On a clear day the sun shines
up to 5000 times brighter than an average light bulb. When something that
bright strikes your eye, a few things can happen. If it’s only for a moment
the worst you’ll experience is a blurry splotch on your
vision called an after image. Normally light reaches the
retina at the back of your eye where it triggers photo receptors that relay the information to your brain. This is how you’re able to see anything, but bombard them with
too much light at once, and you can actually damage
the cells and proteins that help them process light. Since your retina has no pain receptors the damage won’t hurt, but it will leave the blurry
splotch on your vision. Usually it clears up in a few minutes that is unless you keep staring. Now you’re doing more damage than just overloading your retina. For starters you’re giving your eyes an abnormally high dose of UV radiation, the same stuff that causes sunburns. Like your skin the cornea
at the front of your eye can also burn and that will hurt. The cornea protects the rest of your eye, and is therefore covered in pain receptors that alert you whenever a
pesky eyelash is on the loose, but UV radiation isn’t the only issue. Too much visible light
can penetrate your eye and damage the retinal tissue which causes a condition
called solar retinitis. This means parts of retina can no longer process light normally, so you can end up with entire chunks of your vision blurred out. Depending on the extent of the damage recovery can take weeks, months, and in severe cases over a year, but in rare cases the damage
is so extreme it never heals leading to a rare condition
called solar retinopathy. This usually only shows up
in reckless eclipse gazers. Turns out during a solar
eclipse most of the sun’s light is blocked which can
actually trick your brain into thinking it’s safe to stare. Normally our bodies have a
built-in defense mechanism against staring at the sun. Specifically when we squint we look up which minimizes the
amount of light coming in and protects our cornea and retina, but during a solar eclipse
the sun doesn’t appear bright enough to trigger
our defense mechanisms, so we can end up staring
for longer than is safe. Suffice to say there’s nothing good about staring at the sun, so do your eyes a favor
and avoid looking at it. After all, there are around 6000 stars in the night sky which
you can safely observe for as long you wish.


  1. I have a really weird habbit of staring into bright things, it's like i don't feel normal without staring at things like that. I try to stop but I cant, please help! (No hate)

  2. I thought it was safe to gaze at an eclipse only during the phase where the entire thing was covered by the moon

  3. I see after images all the time and from things like looking at light bulbs and the reflection of the sun off a car

  4. I stared at the sun for like 20 mins and the sun turned pink color then went like an octagon cartoon shape 3D i dont know but its real but my eye is completely fine right now can somebody explain?

  5. I stared at the sun for under a minute, for 1 week. It got rid of eye floaters and caused my eyes to adjust notably faster. And dry eyes got over it.

    Science how is that possible?

    Is it possible all things in moderation?

    What about d3.

    How come my dogs grew cateracts, I hid a very quite dog in an apartment for a year in a room with no windows, we took her to the park at night. She grew the worst cateracts I've ever seen, I figured must have been from before, she loved to stare at the sun. After she passed i got two more dogs and i was real careful to keep them in the house more and by 9 years old they had started getting cateracts! Well they were complete pure breeds and someone stole them. This little dog I have now is 9 or 10 rescued him at about 4 yo he is now 9,he has seperation anxiety he can't stay outside by himself for 5 min. He has cateracts!

    Science – me- that, please and thank you I'd really like to know.

    I've been very careful to cover up wear a hat and sun glasses couldn't go out side with out. I was so wrinkled and white. So I started to go out in sun during high noon for v-d. Not been doing that long.

  6. I feel weird ,I have looked at the sun directly and nothing happened I did not squint and I went to an eye doctor and my vision is 20/20. Trust me I have looked at the sun a lot of times but maybe it’s just me maybe there is something wrong with my vision

  7. Umm so that’s why i can only see blur cause I challenged myself to look at the sun for so long and did it for 54 seconds and saw blur

  8. my vision goes green even though I don't stare at the sun but being under the sun and just walking for long although it will go back within a few sec or minutes

  9. Um soo I used a flashlight directly on my eye and now I have one of those blotchy things so that’s fun
    Hope I don’t go blind

  10. with more research, looking at the sun with naked eyes is nurishing for the eye and for the brain! but you have to look around the sun, not directly it!you have you move your eyes around the sun without looking at it because when you do, you can feel a pain or a pressure in your eyes! this little pressure make you feel good! it's like morning stretching! Do more research! the sun is an energy sphere! and everything is energy!

  11. I actually just looked at the sun when it was so bright like I couldnt open my eyes but i did it and im so scared right now

  12. It would be nice if they had text below (what they say are not clearly understood) get me?! 👇👇👇

  13. Wait, does this mean some people don't get floaters when looking through a scope? Cause when I look through a scope, I'll see a black circle sourrounding what I'm actually looking at and I'd have to position my eye so I can see through that black dot. Is this the reason?

  14. When I look at a bright light such as a lightbulb or the sun reflecting off cars why do I see like rainbow circles for a few seconds then it goes away like once I looked at a flashlight for like 10 seconds I could see the rainbow circle for like 5 minutes

  15. One time a stared at my computer screen at full brightness when I woke up late at night so I'm pretty sure I can handle staring at the sun.

  16. why does it always give false bullshit.. ok so you mean stare at the sun while sunset while it can not make you blind as it when its on its highest shine like at 12pm .. so i wanted to know what hapens if you stare at the sun on its highest shine what will hapen dumn shit

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