The Great American Eclipse Set For August 21

Nicky Forster

Eclipse glasses let you see a partial solar eclipse safely, but they have to come from a reputable dealer.

The lower 48 will average about 7 total solar eclipses per every 100 years.

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will darken skies across a relatively wide swath of the United States.

One dissatisfied "Verified Purchase" customer went so far as to post a picture that purportedly shows the glow of a 60-watt light bulb as seen through solar filters that were made in China. Keep in mind that the times presented here are in Universal Time, or UTC, and you'll need to convert them to your local time (

Use them to look at the lights in your home.

- True, Carbondale gets the pleasure of being in the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse and the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse. "But if somebody looks through (a telescope) at the partially eclipsed sun without protection, well, there's nothing we can do about that". Check to make sure they meet the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 12312-2 safety certification recognized by NASA as safe for cameras and direct viewing of the sun. Use this as the screen and set up your camera to photograph or record continuous video of this screen as the crescent of the solar surface disappears at the start of the eclipse and re-appears at the end of the eclipse. As the eclipse approaches, the baseball game will enter an "eclipse delay" so fans and players can enjoy the rare event.

Buyers beware! Some vendors are selling counterfeit eclipse glasses that aren't certified. There are solar filters that are safe for viewing and photography and there are solar filters that are only safe for photography. But if clear skies aren't in the forecast there that day, Espenak said he may travel west or east to another city along the path of totality to get the best view.

According to the American Astronomical Society, just four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

You'll find glasses online and in retail stores, including paper and plastic versions, starting at a few dollars for one pair up to about $20 for a multiple pack of glasses.

"It is unlike any other experience you've ever had", Espenak, popularly known as Mr. Eclipse, told ABC News.

If you bought or were given eclipse viewers at a science museum or planetarium, or at an astronomy trade show, again you're nearly certainly in possession of ISO-compliant filters. What you absolutely should not do is search for eclipse glasses on the internet and buy whatever pops up in the ads or search results.

On eclipse day, put on your special glasses and view the big show from the Lincoln Saltdogs baseball game, which is hosting an eclipse-themed game.

"If you look at it for a short period of time, it can cause intermittent change in your vision".