With the solar eclipse less than a week away, interest in the astronomical phenomenon has taken off like a comet – a fact evidenced by the massive volumes of eclipse glasses that consumers and promotional product distributors are buying.
Nonetheless, authorities warn that knockoff glasses that won’t actually protect wearers’ eyes while eclipse-watching are in circulation, and it’s important for buyers to be sure that they have legitimate glasses before gazing spaceward.
The issue came to light this week when Amazon announced that it was issuing refunds to customers who bought possibly counterfeit glasses. Amazon said the glasses in question “may not comply with industry standards,” further noting that it was removing certain solar glasses from its offerings “out of an abundance of caution.” The removed listings were not revealed publicly.
In order to prevent eye damage while directly viewing the eclipse, people must wear ultra-dark sunglasses that are made to specified standards that ensure ocular protection. The American Astronomical Society, an organization of professional astronomers, says would-be glasses buyers can rest easy that they’re getting the real deal by