Finding a pair of NASA approved solar eclipse viewing glasses is becoming as rare as the seeing the eclipse itself. Stores across the country are selling out and in Michigan there aren’t many left.
NASA has compiled a list of approved vendors and retailers to help you ensure the glasses you buy will protect your eyes from the eclipsing sun.
7 Action News called and visited many of the retailers on the list striking out time after time. The Novi and Canton Kirklands are all sold out and the employees weren’t aware of any in the Detroit area that still had any to sell.
A Best Buy manager said every store in the state of Michigan is sold out and they aren’t available to order on the website either. Every Michigan retailer on the list gave the same answer. Sold Out.
7-11’s corporate office offered some hope by revealing that some of their locations will be getting one last shipment before Monday. They didn't say which locations.
NASA sent eclipse glasses to libraries across the country, but most in our area have run out. A few libraries holding eclipse events Monday August 21st are waiting to distribute the glasses until Monday. It will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Some sellers on Amazon say they still have glasses for you to buy, but the prices have been hiked up and there’s no guarantee they will arrive on time.
So what do you do if you can’t find a pair of NASA approved glasses?
Ed Cackett, an Associate Professor of Astronomy at Wayne State University says there are other safe viewing options.
"What you want to do is look indirectly and project an image on the ground,” he says.
Cackett suggests making a pinhole camera with a paper plate and a pin, then standing with your back to the eclipse and watching the shadow projected onto a piece of paper. He promises it’s a cool sight to see. There are instructions on NASA’s website https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
Cackett says you can also use your hands to make a pin hole viewer or use a colander, again standing with your back to the eclipse and watching the shadow. Never ever look directly at the sun.
There are a number of events in the metro Detroit area in which telescopes with special filters will be available and a limited number of NASA approved eclipse viewing glasses will be distributed. Here are a few to check out:
Michigan Science Center is partnering with Wayne State University to hold a viewing event on Monday 10am – 5. More info here: http://www.mi-sci.org/event/solar-eclipse-event/
Lawrence Tech University is holding an event In the quad hosted by physics professor Dr. Scott Schneider, who will be setting up a couple of solar telescopes. The public is invited 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. His eclipse page is http://vnatsci.ltu.edu/s_schneider/astro/eclipse2017.shtml
Vollbrecht Planetarium will be hosting an open house for the up coming solar eclipse. The event will provide:
- Telescopes and Binoculars with protective filters for safe viewing.
- Streaming NASA live coverage of the Total Eclipse on the dome.
- Approved Solar Shades available.
- Eclipse cookies & Solar lemonade while supplies last.
More info: http://www.vollbrechtplanetarium.com/