Millions of Americans will be staring up at the sky later this month when a rare total solar eclipse will be visible in certain parts of the country.
If you plan to check it out, you’ll need special glasses to protect your eyes. But NASA says it is seeing lots of fakes on the market that could be dangerous.
Manufacturers are cranking out millions of safety glasses for the upcoming solar eclipse. Rainbow Symphony is one of them and is shipping glasses all over the country.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for people to witness a celestial event like this. Most people have never been in proximity to an eclipse,” said company spokesman Mark Margolis.
On Aug. 21, the moon will pass between the Earth and Sun. Mos of the country will see a partial eclipse. But millions will get to witness a total eclipse as the moon completely blocks out the sun on a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.
Rainbow Symphony’s glasses are certified safe but NASA warns that there are plenty of phony safety glasses on the market that could be dangerous.
NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young says the fake glasses, which are being sold in stores and online, can do real harm if they’re used during the eclipse.
“They damage the cells in your eyes, they damage your retinas and the damage can be permanent,” said Young.
To make sure your glasses are safe, look for the certified ISO icon and the number 12312-2 to make sure they will properly block the light.
It’s also important to make sure the lenses are not scratched or damaged.
Around seven thousand libraries across the U.S. are distributing safety-certified glasses.
The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable manufacturers and authorized dealers at this site.