If you are planning on watching the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, you are probably in the market for some good solar eclipse glasses. Many sites have begun selling the glasses and while many of the glasses are reputable, there have been some reports of people selling glasses that are not as protective as they should be. Also, if you are like me, you probably are hesitant about spending money on glasses that you may never use again.
The good news is that The STAR Library Network (STAR_Net) with support from the Moore Foundation, Google, NASA, the Research Corporation, and NSF has distributed over 2.1 million safe eclipse glasses to around 7,000 unique locations including library branches, bookmobiles, tribal libraries, library consortia, and state libraries in all 50 states. These solar eclipse glasses are FREE.
They also created a great interactive map that allows people to find the participating locations nearest to them. To find the interactive map click here. Once on the map, simply zoom in (click the plus button on bottom right corner) to your state, and click the pin drop nearest your location to find out that participating locations name and website. The map provides links to most of the location’s websites.
Other places you might be able to find free solar eclipse glasses include your public health department, local astronomical societies and planetariums. Eyewear retailer Warby Parker is giving away free solar eclipse glasses at each of its 55 locations if you happen to be near one.
If you have a pair of glass and are wondering if they are safe, look for glasses with the designation ISO 12312-2, along with the manufacturer’s name and address. Glasses that are more than three years old and those with scratched or wrinkled lenses could be unsafe, according to NBC.
If you are unable to locate any free glasses, many drugstores, grocery stores and online retailers are selling various forms of eclipse eyewear. Some of them sell for as little as a few dollars.