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Pt.1 Eclipse Like A Rock Star - Glasses & Eye Protection

August 15, 2017

 

It’s not too late to get those ISO 12312-2 compliant eclipse glasses. While millions have been sold there might be some still left on amazon. But, if you're like me, we planned to get a pair of souvenir kickass glasses early and we just waited too long to get to this most important task. Now we are scrambling for a legit pair to enjoy this cosmic event. After a making some calls to some Mobile hardware stores and retailers, I have realized that easily finding any eclipse glasses is going to be tuff. However, I and you are not going to despair. Here are some ways to safely view the eclipse without the smell of our burning retinas or our budget.

 

{Editor's Note: Please make sure the eclipse glasses and viewing products you are using are ISO 12312-2 compliant}

 

FREE ECLIPSE GLASSES at The Spanish Fort Library - Spanish Fort, Alabama

 

According to one of the helpful librarians, all of their advanced FREE glasses have been given away as of August 15, 2017. But don’t despair, they will have 200 additional eclipse glasses available at 12 NOON the day of the eclipse. Sam Jones is right, life is just better in Baldwin County.

 

Where did these FREE ECLIPSE GLASSES COME FROM?

 

The STAR Library Network (or STAR_Net), a nonprofit that helps hook libraries up with science and technology resources. According to their website, “STAR_Net… has distributed over 2.1 million safe eclipse glasses to 7,000 unique locations including public library branches, bookmobiles, tribal libraries, library consortia, and state libraries in all 50 states.”
(Source: atlasobscura.com)


Alternatives to Eclipse Glasses

1. No. 14 Welding masks
According to NASA’s website, sun filters like eclipse glasses "have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces that attenuates ultraviolet, visible, and infrared energy,” making it safe to look directly at the sun. Number 14 welder’s glass has similar properties. 

 

{Editor’s note: I called a local welding supplier and they said that none of their products are capable of protecting your eyes during the eclipse. I am just sharing this information - please use the LED light check mentioned below before you use any glasses to stare into an eclipse.}

 

2. Pinhole cameras
This DIY might not be fancy, but it will protect your eyes. Some experts prefers pinhole cameras for children to view the eclipse, as it requires the child to keep their back to the sun, preventing accidental direct exposure. Watch the step-by-step guide on how to make a pinhole viewer here: 

 


Double Check Your Eclipse Glasses 
 

Again, use only ISO 12312-2 compliant eclipse glasses. But if you want to test your eclipse glasses here is a simple test (via: popsci.com) to see if your eclipse viewer is safe*. 

 

ECLIPSE GLASSES TEST:

1. Put on your eclipse glasses

2. Turn on your Smartphone LED Flashlight App

3. Look around room

4. Everything should be dark except for a small light dot coming from your LED flashlight

 

If you see anything other than the small amount of light from the LED flashlight, you may have "bogus" eclipse glasses and should not be used to view the eclipse. 

Be careful and check all your eclipse glasses. There are reports of “bogus” eclipse glasses being sold in stores and on Amazon. Amazon is even giving refunds for some of these “uncertified” eclipse spectacles.

 

*This information is not certified by an independent source and is a suggestion to determine the possible effectiveness of your eclipse eyewear protection. Use only glasses from a reputable and AAS approved company. For a list of the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force approved vendors of eclipse glasses, click here.

 

These items that are not safe to use to view the eclipse:

  • The naked eye

  • Sunglasses

  • Solar glasses that are not NASA approved

  • Telescopes without approved filters

  • Binoculars without approved filters

  • Cameras without approved filters

 

Have an amazing eclipse experience and please keep your eyes safe from the possibly harmful aspects of this beautiful solar event.

 

 

 

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