Eclipse fever certainly inspired a mad rush on elusive, official eclipse safety glasses. Sure, there’s going to be another eclipse in several years, but are you really going to be able to find those hard to come by official eclipse glasses you put away for safekeeping?
If you are like many of us, probably not. So what’s a better alternative?
Astronomers without Borders is conducting an eclipse glasses collection to send to schools and other institutions in countries they are needed but not available. The next two solar eclipses across populated areas are in 2019 — a total solar eclipse in southern South America and an annular eclipse (where the Moon doesn’t quite cover the whole Sun) in southeastern Asia. But a partial eclipse will be seen throughout most of South America and southern Asia so the glasses are needed by millions. If there are glasses left, they will send them to more schools in countries with eclipses beyond 2019.
The organization is recruiting and organizing collection centers and will have a list of them published soon.
Send eclipse to their corporate partner in this program, Explore Scientific:
AWB Eclipse Glasses Donation Program
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
The organization will examine each pair to make sure they aren’t damaged, and to verify that they are certified safe and not counterfeit.
The filter material is required to not degrade according to the latest ISO standard. The paper can be damaged by inappropriate storage, which may be the concern some manufacturers have. Each pair to make sure they aren’t damaged and to verify that they are certified safe, and they will be stored in an appropriate environment. They won’t send out any glasses that we can’t be sure are safe to use.
If you’re sending just a few, fold them up and put them in an envelope. If you have more than a few, unfold them, stack them together in bundles up to 50, and bind them with with rubber bands, twister seals, or something else if you can.
Much more info about the program at: astronomerswithoutborders.org
To keep track of the eclipse schedule, visit here.