Wear Red and Green During the Eclipse for an Unforgettable Solar Effect

Wear Red and Green During the Eclipse for an Unforgettable Solar Effect

A scientific discovery published over 200 years ago will be on display during Monday’s historic total solar eclipse and those observing the phenomenon are urged to wear red and green clothing to see the full effects of it.

Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkyně observed over two centuries ago that flowers that appeared bright red in sunlight transformed into a deep, subdued color as daylight faded. In 1823, he published a paper describing his theories of how that happens.

His observations led to the identification of what is now known as the Purkinje effect, or the Purkinje phenomenon, which accounts for the changing appearance of colors based on the available light and the way human eyes become more sensitive to blue light and less to red light as surroundings become darker.

This shift in sensitivity occurs during the process of vision adjusting to low light conditions and, as a result, in dimmer environments, red objects seem darker compared to objects of other colors.

In dim lighting conditions, what is normally bright red can look darker, more muted, or even near black, whereas blues and greens seem to grow more vivid.

The dramatic lighting changes during a total solar eclipse offer a perfect chance to witness this remarkable shift in color perception.

The Arizona Republic noted that while it’s “not mandatory … wearing red and green clothing during a solar eclipse could optimize your viewing experience.”

However, it is extremely important to protect your eyes while observing the solar eclipse, as the rays of the sun can still be harmful for vision.


Spectators are urged to wear certified solar viewing glasses or eclipse glasses that are created with special filters that block harmful ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation and intense visible light.

These allow you to observe the sun without risking eye damage.

NASA has published an article laying out guidelines to safely observe the total solar eclipse, and emphasizes the use of specialized eye protection, like eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, during all phases except the brief period of totality, when the moon fully blocks the sun.


Additionally, anyone wishing to observe Monday’s eclipse is warned against driving and told not to pull to the side of any highways as they must be clear for emergencies.

Space.com is offering a livestream of the historic event for those wishing to view the total eclipse safely at home.

The eclipse’s path of totality will span approximately 115 miles wide and extend over 10,000 miles long, and it will cross Mexico, 15 U.S. states, and Newfoundland, Canada.

The time of the eclipse will vary according to location. ABC News published a handy guide for times and locations available here.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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