With the world full of anticipation and excitement for the total solar eclipse taking place on August 21, 2017 for the first time since 1979, con artists are taking advantage of this opportunity by releasing phony eclipse glasses. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has warned consumers of counterfeit equipment that falsely claims to meet the international standard for safe solar viewing. Unfortunately, dishonest vendors can grab the ISO logo off the internet and put it on their products and packaging even if their eclipse glasses or viewers haven’t been properly tested. This means that just seeing the ISO logo or a label claiming ISO 12312-2 certification isn’t good enough. You need to know that the product comes from a reputable manufacturer or one of their authorized dealers.
Since high-tech labs are required to check whether your handheld viewers or eclipse glasses are safe, AAS recommends purchasing your equipment from reputable suppliers. Check here for a complete list of AAS’ full list of trustworthy suppliers and vendors here.
According to NASA, if you plan on viewing the solar eclipse, consider the following while preparing:
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
- Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Additionally, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
- If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun and it suddenly gets dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.
- If the filters are torn, scratched, puncture or coming loose from their cardboard or plastic frames, discard them.
Source: Space.com, American Astronomical Society, and NASA
To read more, visit Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses Are Flooding the Market: How to Stay Safe, How To Tell if Your Eclipse Glasses or Handheld Solar Viewers Are Safe, and How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely