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Here’s Where You Can Grab Free Eye Protection for the Aug. 21 Solar Eclipse
Depending on where you are in the U.S. on Aug. 21, you will be able to see a total or partial solar eclipse from your backyard. But since staring at the sun could permanently damage your vision, you’ll need the right eyewear to view it.
Getting your hands on a pair of solar eclipse glasses might be easier and cheaper than you think.
Although the window to get your solar eclipse glasses is nearly closed, libraries, eyewear retailers and some museums continue to give out free pairs so you don’t miss the spectacular show.
Where to Get Free Solar Eclipse Glasses
If you’re just now beginning your search for your glasses, you’re already behind the curve. So we’ve eased the search by compiling a list of places to find them.
Your Local Library
The easiest place to find glasses that make it safe to look at the sun during the solar eclipse is your local library.
National Center for Interactive Learning, which provides interactive science, technology, engineering and math programs for public libraries nationwide, gave more than 2 million pairs of glasses and 4,000 educational kits to 7,000 libraries across the country. That’s about half the libraries in America, but supplies are thinning out.
You can check the NCIL map to see if your local library received the glasses, but make sure to call and verify they are still available.
According to NCIL, while many libraries have already given away most of their advance pairs, some libraries held on to a few to give out Aug. 21.
Glasses retailer Warby Parker has free solar eclipse glasses, too. You can’t order them online like normal eyeglasses, though. You’ll have to go to one of the 59 Warby Parker stores spread across 24 states and Washington, D.C.
Just stop by the store nearest you and ask for your pair. It’s not clear how many glasses each Warby Parker has in stock, so head over today.
Other Places That Might Have Solar Eclipse Glasses
According to NBC News, you may also find free solar eclipse glasses at your local public health department, astronomical societies and planetariums. Glasses may not be as widely available at these locations, so you’ll want to call before stopping by.
Buying Solar Eclipse Glasses
If you’re among the unlucky ones whose neighbors were a bit faster at snagging the free solar eclipse glasses, leaving you out of the loop, you may still be able to buy your own pair.
Be cautious, though, because the glasses you purchase could be fake and unsafe if you don’t get them from a reputable retailer.
If you already bought your glasses or are considering buying a pair, check out the American Astronomical Society’s list of trustworthy manufacturers and dealers that sell authentic glasses to protect your eyes.
Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.