August 21 is just 3 and 1/2 weeks away, and we want to make sure you can enjoy this event safely and comfortably!
There have been some news stories about potentially unsafe solar eclipse glasses available online through marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. It's important to know what to look for when shopping for eclipse glasses and solar filters.
Look for Certification Marks
To make sure you are buying safe Eclipse Glasses, or to verify the glasses you already have meet safety standards, look for the ISO or CE certification marks.
All of the eclipse glasses sold by Eclipse Kit and AstroBox, including those sold with the Eclipse Kit Guide on Amazon, meet these ISO or CE safety standards.
If you have glasses that do not show these standard markings, don't use them. Tear them up and throw them away, and purchase some certified eclipse glasses.
Not sure about your eclipse glasses? Check the American Astronomical Society's Reputable Vendors list, which includes a list of retailers.
Verify Before Use
Before putting on your eclipse glasses, check the lenses for any scratches or pinholes. If you find any damage, THROW THEM AWAY! Eclipse glasses are inexpensive - buy a new pair. We visually inspect each pair of eclipse glasses we sell to make sure they don't show any blemishes or damage before we ship them to you.
Alternatives to Eclipse Glasses
Welder's Glass labeled #14 is also safe to use. Do not use welder's glass that has a number less than 14, or any welding shade where you do not know the number. #14 is not commonly used for most welding because it is so dark, but that's what you need for looking at the sun!
If you find yourself out on eclipse day without eclipse glasses or #14 welder's glass, you can still enjoy the eclipse through indirect viewing methods. (NEVER try to look at the sun without certified eclipse glasses or welders glass.)
A pinhole viewer is an option that can be constructed out of just two pieces of card stock or paperboard. For a pinhole viewer, take one sheet of card stock and poke a thumbtack through the center of it to make a pinhole. Orient the pinhole card so the sun shines through the pinhole, and onto your second piece of card stock. You'll see a projected image of the sun. Move the cards further away from each other for a larger image, or closer together for a smaller but higher contrast image.
See the Eclipse Safety page for more details, including safety with telescopes, binoculars, and cameras.
Also visit the NASA Eclipse safety page.
Order your ISO/CE approved eclipse glasses from the Eclipse Kit store.
Earlier Eclipse Kit orders, and orders of the Eclipse Kit Guide from Amazon, shipped with glasses from the Astronomical League that were manufactured under contract in China. These glasses carry the CE (European standards body) certification, and are safe to use. Each pair was visually inspected before we packaged them, and any glasses that exhibited even minor defects were discarded.
We recently ordered new stock from American Paper Optics because we sold out of the Astronomical League glasses. Glasses from American Paper Optics are ISO and CE certified, and American Paper Optics is one of four NASA verified U.S. manufacturers of eclipse glasses. All new orders from EclipseKit.com that include eclipse glasses include the American Paper Optics glasses.