Skip to main content

Beware! The market is being flooded with fake eclipse glasses which won't protect your eyes!

I find it impossible to imagine what it must be like to be a psychopath capable of marketing fake eclipse glasses in advance of the August 21 total solar eclipse, but the American Astronomical Society warns that the market is being flooded with them.

People are almost certainly going to go permanently blind as a result.

Here are some ways to check to see whether your eclipse glasses are the genuine article.

Your best bet, if you haven't bought your glasses yet, is to get them from trusted, reputable sources. Here is the AAS's list of approved, reputable vendors. You can trust glasses bought from any of them.

Here is a guide to the very best stuff. But remember how high the odds are. The damage done to your eyes by viewing the sun without adequate protection is permanent. Stories are told about a great scientist who supposedly viewed an eclipse with only one. unprotected eye and thereafter could see only reds and blues through it. If so, he got off lightly; that's a good way to go totally blind.

It will be safe to look at the sun ONLY during totality, and not an instant before or an instant afterward. If you do not live in the relatively narrow band of totality, you will see a partial eclipse. In that case, NEVER look directly at the sun.

Ordinary sunglasses will offer absolutely no protection. Welder's filters lighter than shades 12, 13 and 14 will probably not protect you, and smoked glass can't be counted on either. Pinhole projectors or even round holes- the holes in your belt, even- if held between the sun and the ground will project an image of the eclipse on the ground. Even making the "OK" sign with your fingers will do the trick, though the image will be distorted because the "hole" won't be perfectly round. But these are a poor substitute, especially given the awesome beauty and rarity of this event.

Remember, looking at the sun directly except during totality can be disastrous. Here and here are accounts of what has happened when people have tried to watch previous eclipses without proper protection.

I personally have waited all my life for this. Another total solar eclipse will be visible in the United States on April 8, 2024, in case you miss this one; otherwise. you'll have to wait until August 23. 2043, when one will be visible in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Yet another eclipse will be visible on a path beginning in Northern California and ending in Florida on August 12 of the very next year. After that, you'll have to wait for 2099.

Here are the paths future American total eclipses will take.

But for now- if you do watch this eclipse, be careful. It may very well be the sight of a lifetime, but not one worth losing your sight for the rest of your life.


Popular posts from this blog

Jan Chamberlain's rhetoric is too strong. But the stand she has taken is right.

I do not share the religion of Jan Chamberlain. I don't even pray to the same god. But I can't help but admire the integrity of the woman who quit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than sing at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Ms. Chamberlain, like me, voted for Evan McMullin in November. Like me, she holds no brief for Hillary Clinton or her agenda. But she cannot, as she put it, "throw roses at Hitler."

As I've said before, comparing Trump to Hitler strikes me as harsh. I believe that Trump is a power-hungry narcissist who exhibits disturbing signs of psychopathy, like Hitler. Like Hitler, he has stigmatized  defenseless minorities- Muslims and undocumented aliens, rather than Jews- and made them scapegoats for the nation's troubles. Like Hitler, he has ridden a wave of irrational hatred and emotion to power. Like Hitler's, his agenda foreshadows disaster for the nation he has been chosen to lead.

But he's not going to set up death camps for Musli…

Neither Evan McMullin nor his movement are going away

Evan McMullin has devoted most of his post-college life- even to the point of foregoing marriage and a family- to fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and our nation's deadliest enemies as a clandestine officer for the CIA. He has done so at the risk of his life.

He has seen authoritarianism in action close-up. One of his main jobs overseas was to locate and facilitate the elimination of jihadist warlords. Evan McMullin knows authoritarians.

And when he looks at Donald Trump, what he sees is an authoritarian like the ones he fought overseas. He knows Donald Trump. After leaving the CIA he served as policy director for the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives. He tells about his first encounter with The Donald in that role in this opinion piece he wrote for today's New York Times.

In fact, when Mitt Romney and Tom Coburn and all the others who were recruited to run as a conservative third-party candidate against Trump and Hillary Clinton backed out,  McMulli…

Huzzah! Once again, 45 does something majorly right!

First. he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and now 45 has- at long last- initiated a sensible space policy, with a plan to promote a "rapid and affordable" return to the moon carried out by private enterprise by 2020.  Afterward, it will be onward to Mars and beyond.

This is a great idea for three reasons. First, private enterprise is the future of space exploration, and as far as I know we will be the first spacefaring nation to put most of its eggs in that basket. Second, it's nice to have eggs! Since the Obama administration canceled the Constellation program to develop the Ares booster and the Orion crew vehicle (though it subsequently reinstated the Orion part of the program), the United States has been twiddling its thumbs while China has taken great leaps toward the moon and other countries- including Russia, India, and Japan- have to various degrees intensified their own space programs. It would be both tragic and foolhardy for the nation which first…