NASA Warns About Unsafe Eclipse Viewing Glasses

NASA Warns About Unsafe Eclipse Viewing Glasses

August’s total solar eclipse will bring many people outside and looking up, but if you intend to watch the eclipse, make sure you’re doing it right and protecting your eyes.

NASA is working to inform the public that many safety glasses intended for viewing next month’s solar eclipse have been distributed, but not all of them are safe. In fact, some of them can cause permanent blindness if you use them to view the eclipse. reports:

The historic event takes place on Aug. 21. Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky have the best views in the country, located in the eclipse’s path of totality.

[…] Here’s what to look for to make sure your glasses are safe & other tips:

  • U.S. Manufacturer Name (Recommend any of these: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, or TSE 17)
  • “ISO” Icon (Must have ISO reference 12312-2)
  • Don’t reuse old glasses. Unsafe after 3 years
  • If lenses have scratches, don’t use
  • If lenses are wrinkled, not safe for viewing the eclipse
  • U.S. manufacturers recommended
  • Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

So check your purchase’s certification number and manufacturer to be sure the glasses are safe to use, and don’t try any improvisations. Remember that you may think a lens is dark enough, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. elaborates on manufacturing standards:

Our partner the American Astronomical Society has verified that these five manufacturers are making eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

Local 12’s Chief Meteorologist Katy Morgan explains in the video below what to look for in eclipse-viewing glasses.

Have a good time observing the eclipse, but make sure you’re protecting your eyes right, and don’t end up damaging them when proper safety techniques can easily prevent harm.

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