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How to check if your 'solar eclipse glasses' aren't bogus and will actually work during the phenomenon


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The excitement is building for the 2024 solar eclipse, a celestial wonder that promises to captivate millions of skywatchers across North America. But amidst the thrill, safety remains paramount. Gazing directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage. That’s where special glasses come in, offering a safe way to witness this natural spectacle. However, with the eclipse approaching, the American Astronomical Society has warned about a rise in counterfeit eyewear.

 

Here’s how to be a savvy space spectator and ensure your eclipse glasses are the real deal.


 

Look for the ISO Certification

 

Legitimate eclipse glasses will be labeled with “ISO 12312-2” (sometimes written as ISO 12312-2:2015). This international standard signifies the glasses meet specific requirements for filtering sunlight to safe levels and blocking harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation.


 

The Indoor Test

 

Never look directly at the sun with your eclipse eyewear on for this test. Instead, wear it indoors and try to see your surroundings. Safe glasses will significantly dim the environment, making it difficult to see details. If you can easily navigate a room or read text, the glasses are likely unsafe.


 

Reflected Light Test

 

If it’s cloudy or you prefer not to test indoors, try looking at sunlight reflected off a mirror or another shiny surface. Through safe eclipse glasses, the reflected light should appear very faint, almost like a dim shadow. If the reflection seems bright or allows you to see details, the glasses are not suitable for solar viewing.


 

Reputable Vendors

 

Source your eclipse glasses from trusted vendors like reputable astronomy stores, science centers, or eclipse websites endorsed by organizations like the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Avoid street vendors or online retailers with a history of selling unsafe products.



 

Remember, your eyesight is precious. Don’t be blinded by bargains that seem too good to be true!




 



 

Image: generated on AI

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