No, regular sunglasses aren't safe for Solar Eclipse

Protecting your eyes during the solar eclipse

Solar eclipse viewing glasses are in demand as the clock counts down to the first total solar eclipse across the United States in decades.

At the Perot Museum in downtown Dallas, they're sold out. A thousand glasses have been purchased since Tuesday afternoon.

Multiple 7-Eleven stores that were carrying glasses have run out, and online retailers are also selling out of their stock.

The Solar Eclipse will happen Monday when the Moon passes in front of the Sun. North Texas will experience only a partial eclipse, giving the Sun a crescent shape at exactly 1:09 p.m. You still can't look up with a naked eye.

"No, you can't, " said UT Southwestern opthamalogist Dr. Zachary Robertson. "You can have blurred vision almost immediately. The blur or distortion or just the blank spot around your central vision may be permanent."

Robertson said ophthalmologists are concerned they could see new patients following the eclipse, as rumors circulate about what's safe and what's not.

"Your regular sunglasses in the car? Not safe. Your iPhone? Not safe. Your cameras, telescopes, not ideal for a solar eclipse," he said.

The only way to safely observe the eclipse directly is through those special glasses.  The lenses are so dark, they completely block out all light except for the Sun. They're made to meet strict ISO 12312-2 safety standards, and the American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors whose glasses have been proven safe. There have been reports of some counterfeit glasses on the market.

At the Dallas Arboretum, they have 3,000 pairs of certified eclipse glasses ready-to-go for kids and parents who attend their eclipse viewing party Monday.  They'll be distributed first-come, first-serve starting at 11:30 a.m. The Perot Museum will also have glasses available at their eclipse party, as will area public libraries.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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