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Great American Eclipse both rare and dangerous, WVU experts say


WVU experts Maura McLaughlin and Ghassan Ghorayeb, M.D.

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The Great American Eclipse is both a once-in-a-lifetime experience and dangerous to viewers without proper protection. West Virginia University experts encourage learning about the science that predicts eclipses, and remind viewers that damage from looking directly at the sun, even while partially eclipsed can cause potentially irreversible eye damage in less than a second.  

Maura McLaughlin
WVU Professor of Astronomy

"Even as a professional astronomer, I still find it awe-inspiring that we are able to predict such events so precisely using the same basic physics that students learn in introductory classes at WVU. It's an incredibly affirming reminder of the importance and power of science in our lives."

Maura McLaughlin audio file

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Contact information:; 304.293.4812

Ghassan Ghorayeb, M.D.
WVU Eye Institute ophthalmologist  

“Every time there’s an eclipse, we’ve noticed people going blind despite the safety warnings. Our goal this year is to really get the word out so that there will be no eye injuries in West Virginia from this eclipse.”

Ghassan Ghorayeb audio file

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Media inquiries for Dr. Ghorayeb may be made through:  Sarah Wisniewski, 304.285.7270;

More about WVU and The Great American Eclipse in the WVUToday Media Center,  Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the WVU School of Medicine.

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the  Experts Database  at  WVU Today .