The 2017 Great American Eclipse has come and gone, but now people are left wondering, what do you do with those eclipse glasses? The answer is, you can do some good.
People in the United States waited in line for hours for eclipse glasses. But in other countries, that’s not even a possibility. And that’s where Astronomers Without Borders comes in.
“These are countries where they’re not going to get an opportunity to get them, especially for the schools that we’d like to get them to for the students and teachers,” said Mike Simmons, President of Astronomers Without Borders.
Asia and South America will experience eclipses in 2019. Right now, the non-profit just wants to get the word out that it’s starting a redistribution program to send donated eclipse glasses to children in those areas so they can safely watch.
“The important thing is don’t throw them away. If you really need to get them out of your hands right away they can be sent in, but otherwise we will have announcements and lists and all kinds of information on our website and our Facebook page within the next couple days,” Simmons explained.
If you really need to get the glasses off your hands right away, you can send them to Astronomers Without Borders’ corporate sponsor, Explore Scientific, at 612 Madison Street, Springdale, Arkansas. More information is coming soon on the list of collection sites and distribution centers across the country.
Part of the process will be making sure the glasses they send are still usable. They will check every pair to make sure they aren’t damaged. Simmons said the ISO-certified glasses shouldn’t have expiration dates.
“As I understand it, the latest certification includes a requirement that they not expire,” he said.
Millions of glasses were distributed here in the United States. Astronomers Without Borders doesn’t want them to go to waste.
“We use astronomy to introduce science in countries like this, so it’s a great opportunity for them as well. And an opportunity for those of us here to give something back and share with others,” Simmons explained.
You can help do that by hanging on to those glasses a little while longer. If you are a business or organization who is interested in becoming a collection site, you can visit Astronomers Without Borders Facebook page here for more details.
That is also where they will be posting the updates as they organize the program.