How to tell if eclipse glasses are fake

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The total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 may be past us, but there will be another eclipse on July 2, 2019 and yet another in 2024. If you’ve got a pair of eclipse glasses or you want to get some, here are some tips on spotting the fakes from the real deal.

Check where the eclipse glasses were sourced

A good place to start is right at the source, meaning check where the glasses were made. To make things easier, the American Astronomical Society has reviewed and approved certain eclipse glasses for public use, and they have a list of retailers and providers on their website. Check their listings to see which brands and vendors are available in your area. There are dozens of them, including online shops and national chains such as 7-Eleven and Walmart.

Look for a safety code on the glasses

Another surefire way to ensure that your eclipse glasses are safe for viewing is to look for a safety code somewhere on them. The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, sets the safety standards for the spectacle, and they’ve printed the code “ISO 12312-2” on all of the approved products. Unfortunately, even some counterfeit eclipse glasses can have this code. To be 100% sure, check that the code is on the glasses and make sure you purchase them from an American Astronomical Society-approved retailer.

Test out the eclipse glasses

What if you receive a pair of eclipse glasses from a friend or a neighborhood scientist? Besides checking the code and the source, simply test them out for yourself. Standardized and approved glasses will block out all light except the sun. If you put them on and see even the faintest glimmer of light from a reflection or lamp, they’re not safe. Proper eclipse glasses completely shut out everything, but the sun. The solar eclipse is supposed to be fun and exciting, but it’s also important to stay safe out there.

Need more help on how to tell if eclipse glasses are fake

To get more information on how to tell if eclipse glasses are fake, take a look at resources such as CNET. There many other articles and websites you can use to do even more research on eclipse glasses. Remember to stick to the basics to know if they are fake, check to see if the glasses have the American Astronomical Society approval and find a retailer that sells the approved ones. Safety codes should be printed on the eclipse glasses as well look for that to ISO code somewhere on there. If this helps someone you know, share it with them or if you think you may have a better way to figure out if the eclipse glasses are fake comment below.

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