Where can I get glasses for the solar eclipse?


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Sunglasses won’t cut it for Monday’s solar eclipse.

WASHINGTON — Just a handful of days remain before a total solar eclipse plunges a swath of North America into a few minutes of darkness. 

As the moon passes in front of the sun on Monday, it’s important to be prepared to view the rare celestial spectacle safely.

Special eclipse glasses are extremely important to keep your eyes protected during a solar eclipse. The only time it is safe to look directly at the eclipse with the naked eye is during totality — if you’re located within the path of totality. 

Before and after totality, certified eclipse glasses should be worn to avoid eye damage. 

Cameras, binoculars and telescopes must be outfitted with special solar filters for safe viewing. 

Here is more information on where you can purchase trusted solar eclipse glasses and what to look for:

Where can I buy solar eclipse glasses?

The American Astronomical Society Solar Eclipse Task Force vetted sellers and compiled a list of trusted manufacturers and suppliers of eclipse glasses here.

Grocery stores and office supply chains like Staples may carry eclipse glasses in your area. 

Walmart even created an eclipse bundle, which includes eclipse glasses, solar filters for your smartphones, a camping chair and several celestial-themed snacks. 

If you already have solar viewers that aren’t on the list, don’t panic. The AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force says it’s simply impossible to vet every manufacturer, and most of the time these products end up being safe. 

“What some people are calling ‘fake’ eclipse glasses appear to be products being promoted with misleading claims, printed with information copied from other manufacturers’ viewers, or otherwise suspicious,” said Rick Fienberg, project manager of the task force. “But that doesn’t mean they’re dangerous.”

RELATED: Why do we need eclipse glasses to watch the solar eclipse?

Fake eclipse glasses?

The AAS said one warning sign to watch out for is if your eclipse glasses vendor claims they’re certified by NASA. The space agency has confirmed they don’t certify or endorse any products. Instead, NASA links to the AAS list of suppliers for eclipse glasses. 

The group also noted that when searching on online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay or Temu, it does not recommend automatically buying from the seller offering the lowest price. Buyers should do their research and identify the seller and check to see if it’s a trusted source before buying any solar viewer on an online retail marketplace.

When it comes to buying safe solar eclipse glasses, sooner is better. As the eclipse approaches, legitimate vendors are more likely to sell out. 

RELATED: Will I be able to see the total solar eclipse if I’m not in the path of totality?

Why is it dangerous to look at a solar eclipse?

Our eyes are extremely sensitive to light and when exposed to direct sunlight, the retinal cells could be permanently damaged. 

Even a slight direct glance at the sun could cause damage, so it’s important to remember not to look at it directly without safe eyewear — even if partially covered by the moon. 

Viewers should always wear eclipse glasses during any solar eclipse, especially if there is no moment of totality. The moments of complete darkness, once the moon fully covers the sun’s daylight, are the only safe moments to view without special eye wear, NASA says. 

RELATED: What to know about the solar eclipse, including what time it starts

When is the solar eclipse?

On Monday, April 8, the total solar eclipse’s path will pass through 15 states — with Tennessee and Michigan just barely part of totality. 

When the eclipse begins and how long it’ll last depends on where you are in reference to the path of totality. For some, the total eclipse could be as long as four minutes.

For more information on specific eclipse times in your city, check out Eclipse2024.org

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Where can I get glasses for the solar eclipse?

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