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

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 07:31 am

Eclipse Glasses USA, a leading organisation dedicated to promoting safe viewing practices during solar eclipses, is pleased to offer vital guidance on selecting appropriate eclipse glasses to safeguard your eyes during 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 worldwide, prioritising eye safety and choosing the right protective gear is essential for enjoying these spectacles without risking any harm to your vision.

Solar eclipses offer mesmerising celestial displays, but direct viewing of the Sun without proper protection can cause severe damage to your eyes, including permanent vision loss.

Following the August 21, 2017 eclipse, there was a surge in internet searches related to eye damage. Eclipse Glasses USA encourages individuals to adhere to the following guidelines when purchasing 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 NASA certification for their glasses. NASA is not a certifying body and, therefore, 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 vendors known for their reliability can be found on the website of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  2. Verify Authenticity: Be cautious of counterfeit or substandard eclipse glasses flooding the market. 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 provide test results from the 2017 North American eclipse, but their solar filter products may have changed since then. Others may use test results from labs lacking the capability to certify ISO compliance.

If you have any doubts, reach out to the manufacturer directly to confirm the authenticity of their products or seek assistance from Eclipse Glasses USA.

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

Do not rely on regular sunglasses or homemade filters, as they do not offer sufficient protection for your eyes. If your glasses/viewers are ISO 12312-2 compliant, it means they provide adequate shielding against harmful visible light, UV radiation, and infrared radiation from the Sun.

  1. Condition and Integrity: Thoroughly examine the eclipse glasses for any signs of damage, scratches, or deterioration. Discard glasses with scratches, holes, or damaged filters, as they may compromise the safety of your eyes. It is crucial to use eclipse glasses that are in pristine condition. Avoid using glasses that are over 3 years old or have been exposed to extreme temperatures.
  2. Follow Usage Instructions: Carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Pay close attention to any specific usage guidelines, such as the recommended duration of use, and strictly adhere to them to prevent eye damage.

Roger Sarkis, owner of Eclipse Glasses UK and a current university faculty member, emphasises, “Do not wait until the last minute to acquire your eclipse glasses. Make sure you order well in advance from reputable vendors to ensure you have them in time for the October 2023 eclipse. This will be the last eclipse over the western US for the next 20 years, so you wouldn’t want to miss it due to purchasing counterfeit products or waiting until they are sold out.”

Eclipse Glasses UK 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 that everyone can witness these awe-inspiring astronomical phenomena safely.

Please note: The information provided in this article is based on the content available at the time of writing. It is important to stay updated with the latest recommendations from reliable sources regarding the viewing of solar eclipses.

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