Help a procrastinator out: Solar eclipse glasses version
August 15, 2017 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Virtually all online outlets are sold out of solar eclipse glasses. How do I get two pair before Monday?

I had a vague idea I'd get some from Amazon before the event, but it turns out they are sold out and some of the ones sold were actually ineffective. Does anyone have a source for last minute eclipse glasses I can get? Online with fedex or somewhere in the Los Angeles area is ideal.

Thanks for any leads!
posted by Space Kitty to Shopping (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not sure if this helps, but a #14 welding lens is supposed to be safe. You could just go by a shop and grab one.
posted by Vaike at 3:06 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm in a similarly eclipse-glasses free state. It sounds like you might be able to buy glasses at Lowes/Home Depot and maybe Toys 'R' Us, but those might also be out of stock. Instead of running around, this weekend I'm going to go the old fashioned way, and build a pinhole projector to view the eclipse safely.
posted by dis_integration at 3:07 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


Griffith Observatory?
posted by Vibrissa at 3:07 PM on August 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Griffith Park Observatory says they're selling glasses at the gift shop. Probably worth calling first, though.
posted by theodolite at 3:07 PM on August 15, 2017


You can check if your local libraries have any left. 2million of them were distributed through libraries.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 3:11 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


This list of reputable vendors from the American Astronomical Society might give you some ideas.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:35 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


Here is a good rundown from a real astronomer, who actually says (you did not hear this from me) that it's OK to look directly at it for a half-second at a time.

I can recall doing that as a kid, actually, at the full, non-eclipse sun when low in the sky at northern European latitudes. Also, at sunset from New York City skyscrapers, where it was actually possible to see sunspots through the New Jersey pollution that made the sun very red.

Also, if you happen to have a box of photographic negatives, really black ones from the end of the roll, they'll do in a pinch.
posted by beagle at 4:19 PM on August 15, 2017


Warby Parker are offering giveaway glasses in their retail stores.
posted by boffin police at 4:20 PM on August 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


I ordered these from Lunt with overnight shipping last week and even though they claimed to be sold out, the package shipped the next day. Their four-pack of kids' size arrived promptly too, and those are a tight fit for adults but fine if you don't need to wear regular glasses under them.
posted by teremala at 4:39 PM on August 15, 2017


FYI, NASA warns that welder's glasses are not safe for an eclipse.
posted by flourpot at 5:06 PM on August 15, 2017


I popped into the Exploratorium in SF just now, and they had a whole bushel available behind the counter.

The hours are usually annoying, but I'm sure most sciencey museums in LA will be the same.
posted by politikitty at 5:10 PM on August 15, 2017


You can also make a pinhole projector to view the eclipse.
posted by bondcliff at 5:11 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


I got mine this weekend from a local science museum's gift shop! Had to go up to the checkout because they weren't on display, but they had plenty. I recommend calling around your local museum, observatory, etc. gift shops.
posted by rhiannonstone at 5:17 PM on August 15, 2017


FYI, NASA warns that welder's glasses are not safe for an eclipse.

Actually, NASA says on this page, "One of the most widely available filters for safe solar viewing is a number 14 welder's glass, available through welding supply outlets." And this page has advice from the American Astronomical Society: "Only goggles made for electric arc welding can be used to observe the sun, and they must have a shade scale number of 12 or higher. Shade 13 is ideal for solar viewing, but that shade is typically not sold in stores."
posted by Redstart at 5:17 PM on August 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just want to chime in and say that today a panel of experts including an astronomer from NASA Glenn here in Cleveland specifically warned against taking half-second peeks at the sun as beagle suggests upthread. She said you won't even know you're damaging your eyes until hours later and that the corneas are the first thing to burn. 22:45 at the link.
posted by Kangaroo at 5:19 PM on August 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


Yes, looking at the sun briefly while it's setting and low on the horizon is very different from looking at it when it's high in the sky, which it will be during the eclipse. Do not do that.
posted by bondcliff at 5:44 PM on August 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here is a good rundown from a real astronomer, who actually says (you did not hear this from me) that it's OK to look directly at it for a half-second at a time.

Good God! This real astronomer is telling you don't do this! It may be worse to look at the Sun during a partial solar eclipse because the reduced sunlight means your blink reflex isn't as strong, but the Sun can still fry your retina.

Local public libraries would be my "go to" at this point for glasses; they got a lot of them.
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:58 PM on August 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


I have extras I ordered from Rainbow Symphony. Memail me and I'll mail them out tomorrow.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:15 PM on August 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


No peeking, for example, without eclipse glasses or other certified filters except during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blots out the sun, called totality. That's the only time it's safe to view the eclipse without protection. When totality is ending, then it's time to put them back on. To be clear, totality means 100 percent of the sun is covered.
http://www.dailyherald.com/news/20170814/eye-doctors-say-dont-look-at-the-sun-ever
Pinhole camera is ok, but it's way cool to actually be able to watch the eclipse. (I took eclipse glasses to my son's 1st grade class in and we all took turns.)
posted by theora55 at 7:49 PM on August 15, 2017


Check out your neighborhood Facebook groups. In mine lots of people are buying in bulk and distributing.
posted by k8t at 8:11 PM on August 15, 2017


In Santa Cruz our local libraries have been giving out eclipse-viewing "glasses" .. check your local ones.
posted by anadem at 8:38 PM on August 15, 2017


You can still buy them from Daylight Sky, which is on the list of reputable vendors.
posted by belau at 8:41 PM on August 15, 2017


We scored some yesterday from our local optometrist. Try calling a few in your area. Try the libraries too.
posted by vignettist at 6:54 AM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pater Aletheias your link was perfect. A lot of retail stores are listed including the convenience store on my street. I called and they have ISO compliant ones in stock. I would have never thought to buy them from a place like that.
posted by maxg94 at 7:06 AM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks, everyone! Eclipse glasses in transit. :)
posted by Space Kitty at 3:13 PM on August 16, 2017


I ordered from Amazon, at a ridiculously high price for expedited shipping before the 23 (?) then found them at Wal-Mart the next day. So my belt-and-suspenders side prevailed and I bought a few pair for my family "just in case" when I saw them -- then my order was cancelled. Moral -- get thee to a Lowes or Wal-Mart and see if they have any.
I say this as I go out the door to see if they have any for a friend.
posted by TrishaU at 3:21 PM on August 16, 2017


Y'all, we at your local libraries have been getting calls about these glasses all week long and are probably all out or else saving them for programs we're putting on during the eclipse. 2 million pairs sounds like a lot but realize that there are over 300 million people in the US!
posted by exceptinsects at 12:59 PM on August 17, 2017


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