What to Look For When Buying Eclipse Glasses

10 days from now the Tri-State will experience the Great Solar Eclipse, but are you prepared?

As thousands get ready to look up at the sun, how do you know if the eclipse glasses you have are the proper ones?

University of Southern Indiana physicist Dr. Matthew Merlo is someone whose never experienced an eclipse, but he knows the potential dangers of buying non-certified eclipse glasses. 

"It is certainly dangerous to look at the sun with a naked eye and that's why it's important to get the correct glasses," Merlo says. 

Unlike places like Hopkinsville, which will experience a total eclipse, areas like Evansville will only see a partial eclipse. 

"You might say well it's 99%. Even that 1% of the sun's energy will be enough to potentially damage your eye," Merlo says. "You certainly do not want to look at it here in Evansville and you want to wear the solar eclipse glasses the entire eclipse."

Merlo also explains it's important to make sure your solar eclipse glasses are certified, something that's hard to see. 

"Unfortunately there's not a lot of visual things you can't just look at it and says it meets the standard so that's why it's important to go through a reputable company," Merlo explains. 

Here's a test, put on the glasses and if you can see the room you're in you probably shouldn't use those glasses to look at the sun.

Merlo recommends people to use camera and telescope solar filters too as staring straight into the sun through a lens of a camera has potential to permanently damage the eye. 

So what will the sun look like your proper glasses?

"When you are looking at the sun the sun will appear as a small ball with orange towards sides of sun and yellowish towards the middle of the sun," Merlo says. 

Merlo also explains prices can range from a couple cents to a couple of dollars depending on how many you order but he recommends ordering glasses as soon as possible as they are in high demand, in fact many places in the Tri-State are still sold out.

(This story was originally published August 11, 2017)


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