Physical and Visual Evaluation of Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun and the International Standard ISO 12312-2:2015

We investigated the compliance of 43 commercially available solar filters (eclipse glasses) with the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard by measuring their spectral transmittances (280–2000 nm) and calculating their luminous, solar UVA, UVB, and IR transmittances. We also evaluated the filters for usability by observing. the full midday Sun and rating the view on a seven-point balanced scale, from “far too dark, details seen only with great difficulty” to “far too light, uncomfortable to view the Sun.” The mean ratings of two observers, one experienced and one inexperienced in solar observing, differed by 0.28 (95% confidence interval of the mean = 0.26). The inexperienced observer tended to be less accepting of high transmittances. All 43 solar filters complied with the UV and IR requirements. Eighteen filters passed the luminous transmittance requirements, and 24 were borderline too light or too dark. Seven of the 15 solar filters with a luminous transmittance darker than the requirement were rated as acceptable. One filter that passed and another that was borderline too light were rated as too light or far too light. The ISO 12312-2 limits derive from welding filter standards and do not represent an appropriate evidence base for direct solar viewing. This work provides the evidence base for a maximum 0.0012% and a minimum 0.00004% luminous transmittance for solar filters. The results of this study also support the use of welding filters between shades 12 and 16. Lighter welding filters are more acceptable than solar filters of the same luminous transmittance.

Please see link to full article: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/ac013e