Abstract

Short-wavelength visible light (blue light) of the Sun has caused retinal damage in people who have stared fixedly at the Sun without adequate protection. The author quantified the blue-light hazard of the Sun according to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines by measuring the spectral radiance of the Sun. The results showed that the exposure limit for blue light can be easily exceeded when people view the Sun and that the solar blue-light hazard generally increases with solar elevation, which is in accordance with a model of the atmospheric extinction of sunlight. Viewing the Sun can be very hazardous and therefore should be avoided except at very low solar elevations.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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