Watch for knockoffs: Unsafe glasses flood market ahead of eclipse


As thousands of people travel to SC to watch the historic eclipse, the hunt is on for protective lenses to view the phenomenon. It will take approximately 94 minutes for the moon's shadow to make the cross country trip.

Science Central's event Sunday will show people how to experience the solar eclipse safely during hands-on activities and demonstrations, the science center said on its website, The last one visible from anywhere in the United States was on July 11, 1991, when Hawaiian observers saw this phenomenon of the Moon passing directly in front of the Sun. The sun's corona, or top layer, is only visible during a total solar eclipse. "If you don't do that soon, it's going to be too late". "So just the basic measurement of when the eclipse is happening will help us refine our knowledge of the size of the sun". The outermost layer of the sun, known as the corona, is hard to study because it's less bright than the rest of the sun - so we have trouble seeing it amid the rest of the sun's brightness. Although the corona itself doesn't produce enough radiation to harm the retina, the seconds before and after the total eclipse can produce enough light intensity to be harmful. "My wife thinks I'm nuts", Hamill said. Eventually, scientists like Sir Arthur Eddington, whose observations of deflected starlight during a 1919 solar eclipse confirmed Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, considered the rare celestial events as prime opportunities to learn more about the solar system and beyond.

Any reliable source will sell or give you the correct glasses with an ISO logo and a statement attesting to their ISO 12312-2 compliance.

The "dark band" of the eclipse stretches from Columbia, Missouri to the Tennessee/Georgia line. Or I have here a strip of material that I got from the Orion telescope company.

Other prime places to watch the eclipse in Kentucky are Franklin and Scottsville.

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We can definitely learn things from eclipses.

Experts are warning people about counterfeit eclipse glasses. Cheap knock-offs are being sold in stores and online.

Check the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers link,, for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers that are verified to comply with ISO 12312-2, worldwide safety standard for these products.

You can also check out other options on the American Astronomical Society's list of reputable brands and retailers. We've posted a link at Now astronomers study this by creating an artificial eclipse with a mask built into special instruments on telescopes called coronagraphs.

If Aug. 21 comes and you don't have an approved eclipse viewer, you can always make a free and relatively simple device, like the "vastly underappreciated" pinhole viewer, UW-Madison's Lattis said. If you glance at the sun through your glasses, for example, and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus and surrounded by a murky haze, they're no good.