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Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses Abound,

Millions of people along a narrow band in North America will look up when the sky darkens during a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. When it does, safety is critical.

Staring directly at the sun during a solar eclipse or at any other time can lead to permanent eye damage. The eclipse is only safe to witness with the naked eye during totality, or the period of total darkness when the moon completely covers the sun.

Those eager to experience the eclipse should buy glasses from a reputable vendor. Sunglasses are not protective enough, and binoculars and telescopes without a proper solar filter can magnify light from the sun, making them unsafe.

“Please, please put those glasses on,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.


Since counterfeit glasses abound, consider purchasing them from a local science museum or ordering them online from a seller cleared on the American Astronomical Society’s website.

Eclipse safety experts say legitimate eclipse glasses should block out ultraviolet light from the sun and nearly all visible light. When worn indoors, only very bright lights should be faintly visible – not household furniture or wallpaper.

Old eclipse glasses from the 2017 total solar eclipse or October’s “ring of fire” annular eclipse are safe to reuse, as long as they aren’t warped and don’t have scratches or holes.

Glasses should say they comply with ISO 12312-2 standards, though fake suppliers can print this language on their products. NASA does not approve or certify eclipse glasses.

The Better Business Bureau has warned about eclipse-based scams, including eclipse glasses. Some people have sold fake eclipse glasses or glasses that aren’t adequate to keep families safe.

“Unfortunately, the crooks follow the headlines, and they know what is happening and current events,” Monica Horton with BBB North Central Texas said. “They will tailor their scams to fit that narrative.”

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has also reported sightings of counterfeit and fake eclipse glasses. The AAS has offered ways to identify fake glasses and avoid eye damage.