On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will pass through the continental United States — traveling from the coasts of Oregon to South Carolina. It’s going to be an incredible sight, but the only way to watch it safely is to view the Sun with special solar filter glasses that block out the majority of the Sun’s light. Only certain solar filter glasses sold online have been properly certified.
A quick search of solar filter glasses on Amazon will pull up hundreds of companies selling products for safely viewing the eclipse. Many of the glasses are sponsored or recommended by Amazon, and claim to have been certified for safely viewing the Sun. However, some of the vendors being featured on Amazon’s website are allegedly selling counterfeit products, and it’s hard to tell which ones are legitimate.
Buying the wrong glasses may save you a bit of money, but will turn your eyeballs into lava, and then dust.1
NASA has a eclipse safety page you should review. These are the brands that are recoomended to buy:
Glasses from these companies will have the manufacturer’s name and address printed on the glasses, in addition to a note saying they meet the ISO 12312-2 certification.
- Sorry for using medical jargon here. I couldn’t find a way around it. ↩