[Updated at 5:55 a.m. ET, 6:55 a.m. Chile time] Dawn is breaking in Copiapo, Chile and the miners will be facing a change in light as they emerge from the rescue chamber.
All of the miners now will likely be wearing sunglasses so they can adjust after being underground in darkness for more than two months.
So far, eight miners have been rescued, in a little under eight hours.
Our congratulations to the 33 miners for having survived 69 days underground and to the rescuers for accomplishing an almost impossible mission.
Q: Why the sunglasses?
A: Sunglasses are intended for protection from solar UV, both UV-A and UV-B. However, in the present case, they seem to be for acclimation to light from prolonged dark-adaptation. If so, then tinted goggles make more sense than sunglasses; the latter still allow lights from the sides. On the other hand, light-adaptation per se does not require much effort, the photo-receptors know what they are doing. Perhaps the purpose is simply for the miners to avoid photophobic irritation from sudden pupil constriction - again, a transient event - although it beats squinting into the sunlight/limelight.
In any case, it is apparent that a lot of thoughts have been put into preserving the well-being of the miners including their eyes. This deserves our appreciation and applause.