NASA warned in July that Amazon.com sellers were offering faulty eclipse glasses while claiming they were legitimate. "That's why people go around chasing it with planes that go above the clouds, cruises that you can find and road atlases". Major retailers such as 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Kroger, Walmart, Toys "R" Us, and more were also included. Eventually, scientists like Sir Arthur Eddington, whose observations of deflected starlight during a 1919 solar eclipse confirmed Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, considered the rare celestial events as prime opportunities to learn more about the solar system and beyond.
According to NASA, about 325 million people in the country will be able to view some portion of the eclipse. And a two-pack at Casey's General Store in Verona could be had for $2.99.
The LAS will be handing out 150 certified solar glasses for free at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library at 6 p.m. August 16.
Another place people are looking is online at sites like Amazon but even there many are sold out. It's fine to wear them as long as you want, provided they're no more than three years old.
Folks in the path of totality can see the moon completely block the sun for about 2 minutes. The organization advised buyers to check for a printed, ISO 12312-2 worldwide safety standard on their glasses to make sure they were certified.
"The market is being flooded with counterfeits", he said.
Science Central's event Sunday will show people how to experience the solar eclipse safely during hands-on activities and demonstrations, the science center said on its website, www.sciencecentral.org.
Safe eclipse glasses should be stamped with a label indicating they meet the worldwide "ISO 12312-2" standard - although Fienberg said counterfeiters have also started to print that on fake glasses. At the full moon, there will be a lunar eclipse, when the moon passes directly behind the Earth, resulting in a darker, reddish-colored moon.
Total solar eclipses happen about every 18 months but cross the same precise spot on Earth an average of only once every 375 years.
If Aug. 21 comes and you don't have an approved eclipse viewer, you can always make a free and relatively simple device, like the "vastly underappreciated" pinhole viewer, UW-Madison's Lattis said.
Nature often creates such pinhole viewers for us, in the form of trees. But she said she's all right with the eclipse mania.
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