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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…