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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Where to get safe eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers

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.

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.

Retail Chains

Where to get free eclipse glasses in metro Atlanta

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.

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.

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

One Margaret Mitchell Square NW

400 Formwalt St. SW

4055 Flat Shoals Road

Cobb

880 Shaw Park Road

100 Village Green Circle

266 Roswell St. NE

4290 Paces Ferry Road SE

North Fulton

Alpharetta Library 
10 Park Plaza

East Roswell Library 
2301 Holcomb Bridge Road

855 Mayfield Road

115 Norcross St.

DeKalb

215 Sycamore St.

5137 Salem Road

Gwinnett

700 Grayson Pkwy

6025 Buford Hwy

3690 Braselton Hwy

1001 Lawrenceville Hwy

2740 Lenora Church Road

361 Main St.

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.

Lastly, if you are unable to make your purchase or snag a free pair ahead of the Aug. 21 eclipse, call your local state parks or venues holding eclipse events. Several places will be handing out eclipse glasses or selling them on Monday, Aug. 21, the day of the total solar eclipse.

This story has been updated.

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