🌘 The sun will be partially covered in NJ on Monday, but it's still not safe to stare

🌘 You're being advised NOT to use your phone or sunglasses to view the eclipse

🌘 Special glasses are available in stores and online

Do not be fooled during the partial solar eclipse in New Jersey on Monday.

It may seem safe to look up at the spectacle because there's less light blinding you, but the radiation that's shining down is still as strong as it would be on any typical sunny day in the Garden State.

Folks elsewhere in the country who are in line to view a "total" eclipse will actually have some time to look up unprotected. But the maximum coverage of the sun in New Jersey on Monday afternoon is expected to be around 90%, so at no point will it be safe to stare up in New Jersey without some type of protection.

"Staring at the sun focuses the dangerous rays of the sun on to your retina where it does permanent damage," said Dr. Joseph Calderone, with Better Vision New Jersey in Cranford.

RELATED: NJ guide to viewing the 2024 eclipse

There are a few ways to view the rare occurrence indirectly — you can poke a hole in an index card and have the sun shine through to project the eclipse on a nearby surface, for example. Even a colander can do the trick.

Eclipse glasses

If you want to simply look up while outdoors between 2 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., you'll need special eclipse-viewing glasses, which can be found online and in select stores.

Looking at the eclipse through sunglasses won't help you — you'll still damage your eyes by looking up for more than just a glance. You want glasses that are ISO-compliant (International Organization for Standardization).

Specifically, you should be looking for glasses that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard for filters. Some glasses may claim to be ISO-certified when they actually haven't been properly tested.

Here's a list of safe suppliers from the American Astronomical Society.

Should you buy glasses, Calderone said, test them out by making sure that when you have them on, you can't see any light except sunlight.

"If they're made correctly, they're pretty much made for nothing except for looking at the sun," he said.

And you're being advised not to look up at the eclipse through your phone or a welder's mask.

"These devices only protect against ultraviolet light, and the sun's damaging radiation in this situation involves more than just ultraviolet light," Calderone said.

In New Jersey, maximum coverage of the sun will occur at around 3:20 p.m. Some schools in the state are letting kids out early so they're not tempted to look up when being dismissed or getting off the bus.

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