Do you know what happens on August 21st? Surely you have already heard of the total solar eclipse that will take place by next Monday in much of the United States.
In fact, from a stretch of almost 70 miles wide – known as “walk or trail of the whole” – the total eclipse can be contemplated even for almost three minutes.
So, if you do not want to damage your eyes and your retina while you enjoy this astronomical phenomenon, then you will need good lenses, right?
But what exactly is the eclipse and what are we going to be able to see?
When the moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, our star will be momentarily erased from the sky, with only the visible outer atmosphere. Therefore, looking directly at the sun can cause irreparable damage to the eyes. But fortunately, there are glasses and other devices to enjoy this event in the best way.
To avoid optical injuries (temporary or permanent), NASA recently released a catalog with safety information to consider before viewing the eclipse. The agency recommends the use of glasses that comply with the international standard ISO 12312-2 for solar eclipse optics. Unfortunately, not all sunglasses that claim to be certified for a phenomenon like this comply with stringent safety standards.
In fact, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) has issued a warning. It seems that this certification or ISO label is no longer enough to verify the safety of the lenses. The reason is that some companies are printing the ISO logo and certification label on glasses that are not fit to see the celestial event.
“They are made of materials that do not block the ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation of the sun to make them really safe,” points out the ASA. Therefore, the organization recommends buying glasses or lenses that are really certified and valid to observe and enjoy the eclipse and not rely on any vendor or website. In fact, about 5,000 libraries and other organizations (museums and planetariums) across the country will distribute two million glasses for the solar eclipse.
However, as the date of the total solar eclipse approaches, the availability of certified lenses in stores is decreasing.
The American Paper Products disposable model is only sold in large quantities, which may be of little use to people looking for only a pair of glasses for the upcoming event.
However, those who try to buy glasses for an entire group will have difficulties to overcome this offer. A set of 25 glasses costs $ 31 dollars or you can even get 2,000 units for 60 cents each.
Other things to consider …
NASA suggests that people check the authenticity of their sunglasses for the eclipse beforehand.
- This means ensuring that the manufacturer’s name and address are printed somewhere in the product.
- The agency also recommends checking the certification number of the sunglasses to ensure that the model complies with international standards ISO 12312-2.
- Under no circumstances is it allowed to wear glasses that are not of the sun or are not certified to see a total or partial eclipse.
- NASA also suggests replacing the sunglasses if the model has scratches or any other problem.
- The agency also encourages people to replace sunglasses for eclipses that were sold or bought more than three years ago.
- And it also recommends being careful with the solar selfies, since the rays can also damage the accessories of the camera. Fortunately, there are also lenses to protect your hardware during an eclipse.
- And if you really like astronomy and are eager to enjoy the eclipse, do not hesitate to give the selection of the best photos of the space to your eyes or maybe you would like to take a virtual tour of the International Space Station. In addition, NASA will also broadcast a live event called Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA, for those who prefer to enjoy the event from their homes.