Don’t get scammed — Safe, NASA-approved eclipse glasses and where to snag a pair


This story has been updated to reflect a newer list of approved manufacturers from NASA and the American Astronomical Society. Note that the companies have run out of stock on their official websites ahead of the Aug. 21 eclipse.

Without proper eclipse glasses or safety equipment, a glance at the sun during the total solar eclipse this August could lead to potentially dangerous injuries.

» RELATED: Can’t find eclipse glasses anywhere? Make these safe DIY pinhole cameras, projectors instead

But with all the hype surrounding the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21, a quick Google search for eclipse glasses shows a number of retailers selling counterfeit eclipse eyewear.

NASA initially recommended four certified manufacturers but has added to that list of certified eclipse glasses and handheld viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for eye and face protection.

» RELATED: The ultimate guide to the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse this August

As of Aug. 18, however, all of the approved manufacturers are out of stock on their official websites.

If you are unable to purchase your glasses or snag a free pair at your local library’s eclipse events, you can make a safe DIY pinhole projector or pinhole camera instead.

» RELATED: A solar eclipse can blind you — how to stay safe during August’s Great American Eclipse 

American Astronomical Society- and NASA-approved eclipse glasses, filters and handheld viewers:

Before committing to a pair of solar eclipse glasses, be sure to check if it’s on the approved list above.

NASA warns against using homemade filters, sunglasses (no matter how dark) or unfiltered cameras, telescopes, binoculars or other unfiltered devices when looking at a partially-eclipsed or un-eclipsed sun.

Additionally, if the glasses are older than three years or have scratched/wrinkled lenses, they should not be used.

You can also opt to use a pinhole projector instead of eclipse glasses. From NASA:

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole -- it is not safe.

» RELATED: Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses during 2017 eclipse, here’s why

Eclipse2017.org originally offered a list of eclipse glasses sold in bulk (packs of three to 200) with net prices ranging between $1.08 to $3.90. But several packages have since sold out.

You can also purchase eclipse glasses at a variety of stores or sites, including at the official manufacturer’s website or at Amazon.com.

Several popular retailers across the country will also be selling glasses and viewers, according to the American Astronomical Society, but not every location is guaranteed to have them in stock.

From the American Astronomical Society:

Some (not all) locations in the following retail chains sell ISO-compliant safe eclipse glasses and/or handheld viewers made by the companies listed at the top of this page, so you can confidently buy solar viewers if you find them in their stores — but not necessarily on their websites. Links are provided only to help you locate the store nearest you.

» RELATED: Don’t let clouds ruin your solar eclipse view — Use these two maps to find clear skies near you

More than 2 million pairs of eclipse glasses at nearly 5,000 STAR_Net libraries all over the nation will be given away in August to ensure viewers enjoy the much-anticipated total solar eclipse safely.

While the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System libraries have stopped giving out eclipse glasses, the system announced Thursday that it would be hosting eclipse viewing parties at multiple branches and at Woodruff Park, where eclipse glasses will be given out as supplies last.

» RELATED: Don’t get scammed — Safe, NASA-approved eclipse glasses and where to snag a pair

According to the official system website, the following libraries in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System will be participating with special eclipse watch parties on Monday, Aug. 21, where folks will have the chance to snag a free pair of eclipse glasses.

Adamsville-Collier Heights Library

Adams Park Library

Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library

Northwest Library at Scott’s Crossing

Northside Library

Ocee Library

Ponce de Leon Library

Washington Park Library

Approximately 400 pairs of eclipse glasses will also be given out at the library system’s Woodruff Park watch party in downtown Atlanta on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to a Thursday press release.

In addition to the free eclipse glasses, some events will feature live “eclipse-themed” music, a pop-up library, arts and crafts for kids, refreshments and more.

For a full list of upcoming events in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, visit afpls.org.

Eclipse-watchers in the Atlanta area will experience a partial, not total solar eclipse, around 2:35 p.m. EDT.

To experience a total eclipse, you’ll have to drive toward the northeastern corner of Georgia.

These glasses will be offered at the libraries’ educational events, lectures and other eclipse-centric programs. Resources are limited. Contact your local library for more information.

» RELATED: Get your free eclipse glasses at these metro Atlanta libraries in time for August’s rare total solar eclipse

Here’s a full list of participating STAR_Net libraries in metro Atlanta:

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

One Margaret Mitchell Square NW

Mechanicsville branch

400 Formwalt St. SW

South Fulton Library (Union City)

4055 Flat Shoals Road

Cobb

Gritters Library (Marietta)

880 Shaw Park Road

Smyrna Library

100 Village Green Circle

Switzer Library (Marietta)

266 Roswell St. NE

Vinings branch

4290 Paces Ferry Road SE

» RELATED: How Georgians can watch the rare total solar eclipse this summer 

North Fulton

Alpharetta Library 
10 Park Plaza

East Roswell Library 
2301 Holcomb Bridge Road

Milton Library

855 Mayfield Road

Roswell Library

115 Norcross St.

» RELATED: This map shows exactly where (and when) the total solar eclipse will cross Georgia this August 

DeKalb

DeKalb County Public Library

215 Sycamore St.

Salem-Panola

5137 Salem Road

Gwinnett

Grayson branch

700 Grayson Pkwy

Gwinnett County Public Library 

6025 Buford Hwy

Hamilton Mill branch

3690 Braselton Hwy

Lawrenceville branch

1001 Lawrenceville Hwy

Snellville branch

2740 Lenora Church Road

Suwanee branch 

361 Main St.

» RELATED: Solar eclipse events in Georgia

Don’t see your local library on the list? Simply reach out and ask if the location will be offering the free glasses and how you can get your hands on a pair.

For a full list of Georgia libraries, use this map from STAR_Net, NASA and the Moore Foundation.

This story has been updated.


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