Solar eclipse glasses are moving fast

Monday, August 14, 2017
Solar eclipse glasses are moving quickly
Solar eclipse glasses are moving quickly. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on August 14, 2017.

WILMINGTON (WPVI) -- It did not take long for all the eclipse glasses to be given out at the Brandywine Hundred Library in Wilmington, Delaware on Monday.

"We had a line wrapped around the building when we opened this morning," Rebecca Hayden of the Brandywine Hundred Library said.

Despite rationing, the glasses were all gone in a couple hours.

The shades, meeting International Standards ISO 12312-2, are said to be thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses.

"I knew a lady whose husband looked into an eclipse and went blind, so I'm very conscious you need these glasses," Sue Baker of Wilmington said.


The centerline of the total eclipse will traverse the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina.

We will see a partial eclipse in our area.

Watch the report from Gray Hall on Action News at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2017.

Dr Bisant Labib of Salus University says, normally, if we look up to the sun, our body reacts to protect our eyes from damage.

"We squint our eyes, our pupils react and limit the light going in," Labib said.

But she says with lower light levels of a partial eclipse, those reflexes can be overcome. And that's trouble.

"It can do damage in as little as 90 seconds of staring at the sun," Labib said.

This is why it is critical to have the right shades for direct viewing.

If you can't find the glasses, there are other options. On our website and NASA's website, there are instruction on using a cereal box and modifying it to be a pinhole viewer.

These solar viewers can be made with just a few household items.

Some have talked of using cell phones pointed to the sky to capture the eclipse. Dr. Labib thinks that would be a bad idea without the proper shades.

"I would be a little leery of those," Labib said.

The bottom line is that you need lenses meeting International Standards ISO 12312-2.

You'll have to call around to find them - check Best Buy, Lowes, Walmart, your eye doctor, or online retailers.

If you can't find them, look for viewing parties at places such as the Wynnefield Library and the Franklin Institute.



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