Why is it harmful to your eyes to look straight at the sun, but looking at the sun indirectly is fine?


When I look directly at the sun, it is harmful to my eyes, but if I look at the sky with the sun in view but not directly, somehow it’s fine?

In: Biology

It’s like sticking you hand in a roaring fire vs. Just holding it out from a few feet away. Eyes aren’t built to sustain direct contact with so much light, and it just burns out your eyes, but the amount of light bouncing off an object into your eye is barely a fraction of that same energy

Your eye will attempt to focus on the sun. Imagine a magnifying glass, the sun, and an ant… when you focus the light just right, then poof.



Someone else already said it.

When you focus your eyes on something it’s like a magnifying glass. Your eyes work by absorbing light and refracting it back. Your brain processes the light rays it took in via your corneas etc and presents an image to your brain of what it saw.

So all vision is, is your eyes constantly taking in all the light in an area to gather a visual image for your brain to interpret.

If you focus an immense direct ray of light at your eyes, it’s the same as aiming the sun at a magnifying lass. You literaly burn through it because light is heat and the sun’s light is an intense heat.

It’s harmful either way, it’s just more harmful looking directly at it because instead of the suns light being focused on your rarely used and less sensitive peripheral vision it’s focused on the center which is super dense with rods and cones and much more sensitive and important.