By Chris Spears
DENVER (CBS4) – In less than 60 days a rare event will be visible to millions of Americans as the moon completely blocks incoming light from the sun.
On August 21 the lower 48 U.S. states will see the first total solar eclipse that travels from coast to coast since 1918.
But unless you live along the path of totality you’ll need a special solar filter to view it.
(Truthfully it’d be a good idea to have one along the path of totality, too.)
NASA scientists say the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters or hand-held solar viewers.
Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not considered to be safe.
Before ordering a solar filter online make sure you know the product is safe to use.
According to an article by NASA on eclipse safety there are only four manufacturers of solar filters that have certified their glasses or handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standards for such products.
They are listed below.
- Rainbow Symphony – website linked here
- American Paper Optics – website linked here
- Thousand Oaks Optical – website linked here
- TSE 17 – website linked here
NASA says to always inspect solar filters for scratches or damage before use.
There will likely be a last minute rush on solar filters so now is a good time to order to ensure you have one before the eclipse arrives on August 21.