Eclipse Glasses USA Provides Safety Tips for Viewing the October 2023 and April 2024 Eclipses

Eclipse Glasses USA, a leading organisation dedicated to promoting eye safety and knowledge regarding solar eclipses, is pleased to offer essential guidance on the purchase and usage of safe eclipse glasses for the upcoming solar eclipses over the Western United States in October 2023 and the Eastern United States in April 2024. As these astronomical events captivate enthusiasts globally, prioritising eye safety and selecting appropriate protective gear is crucial to enjoy the spectacles without risking vision damage.

Solar eclipses present breathtaking celestial displays, but observing the Sun directly without proper protection can cause severe harm to the eyes, including permanent vision loss. Eclipse Glasses USA encourages individuals to follow these guidelines when acquiring eclipse glasses:

  1. Seek Certified/Compliant Products: Ensure that the eclipse glasses you purchase meet the international safety standard ISO 12312-2. These glasses are specifically designed to block harmful solar radiation and provide adequate protection for your eyes. Look for the ISO logo on the glasses or packaging.

Beware of companies claiming their glasses are NASA certified. NASA does not certify the safety of eclipse glasses. ISO compliance is the definitive standard.

  1. Trustworthy Vendors: Purchase eclipse glasses from reputable vendors. Avoid buying from unknown sources or unauthorised sellers, as their products may not meet safety standards. A list of verified reputable vendors can be found on the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) website.
  2. Authenticate the Product: The market is flooded with counterfeit eclipse glasses from overseas. Be cautious of fake or substandard glasses. Verify the authenticity of the product by checking the manufacturer’s information, including their contact details and website.

Request a current ISO 12312-2 compliance test result. Some vendors may use test results from the 2017 North American eclipse, but their solar filter products may have changed since then. Others may provide test results from labs without the capability to certify ISO compliance.

If unsure, reach out to the manufacturer directly to confirm the authenticity of their products or ask Eclipse Glasses USA to assist with verification.

  1. Optical Density and Transmission Requirement: Ensure that the eclipse glasses have an appropriate optical density to block harmful visible light, ultraviolet (UV), and infrared (IR) radiation. The glasses should have a luminosity rating of 0.000061% to 0.0032%. Legitimate testing results will note this transmission rating. If a test result only shows “pass” without providing quantitative results, it is advisable not to purchase from that vendor.

Regular sunglasses or homemade filters are not sufficient to protect your eyes. ISO 12312-2 compliant glasses/viewers provide adequate protection against harmful visible light, UV, and infrared radiation from the Sun.

  1. Condition and Integrity: Inspect the eclipse glasses for any signs of damage, scratches, or aging. Discard glasses with scratches, holes, or damaged filters, as they may compromise the safety of your eyes. It is crucial to use eclipse glasses in pristine condition. Do not use glasses that are more than 3 years old or have been stored in extreme temperatures for any period of time.
  2. Follow Usage Instructions: Carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Pay attention to specific usage guidelines, such as the recommended duration of use, and strictly adhere to them to avoid eye damage.

Roger Sarkis, owner of Eclipse Glasses USA and current university faculty member, emphasises, “Don’t wait until the last minute to source your eclipse glasses. Make sure you order early and only from reputable vendors to avoid purchasing counterfeit products or facing sold-out supplies for the October 2023 eclipse. This will be the last eclipse over the western US for 20 years. You don’t want to miss it!”

Eclipse Glasses USA encourages the public to raise awareness about the importance of eye safety during solar eclipses and share these guidelines with friends, family, and communities to ensure everyone can safely witness these awe-inspiring astronomical phenomena.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *