PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — NASA wants to clear up some common misconceptions about solar eclipses, both scientific and superstitious.
One myth is that harmful radiations are emitted during a total solar eclipse, which some believe can do anything from cause an unborn baby harm to poison food.
NASA says the solar rays are harmless, so, as long as they’re wearing proper eyewear, pregnant women should have no worries about viewing the eclipse, and crops and food will not be affected.
They also say that staring at a solar eclipse can cause retinal damage, but not blindness. You still need to wear proper safety glasses or use a pinhole viewer when looking to look at the eclipse.
There are also some superstitious beliefs surrounding solar eclipses — that they’re harbingers of something bad about to happen, foretell major life events or are a sign of impending bad health.
NASA points to confirmation bias for these myths, saying, “There is nothing other than human psychology that connects eclipses with future events in your life.”