NASA issues safety warnings on fake solar eclipse viewing glasse - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NASA issues safety warnings on fake solar eclipse viewing glasses

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With the solar eclipse just weeks away, millions of Americans are gearing up to set their eyes to the sky and NASA is issuing out safety warnings surrounding fake viewing glasses. 

On Aug. 21 a rare total solar eclipse will be visible in certain parts of the country. 

But you need special glasses to protect your eyes and NASA says it is seeing lots of fakes on the market, that could be dangerous.  

Manufacturers are cranking out millions of safety glasses for the upcoming solar eclipse. 

"This is a big deal," said Mark Margolis of Rainbow Symphony, one of the companies shipping glasses all over the U.S.  

On Aug. 21 the moon will pass between the earth and the sun. Most of the country will see a partial eclipse.   But millions will get to witness a total eclipse as the moon completely blocks the sun on a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina. 

"It's a tremendous opportunity for people to witness a celestial event like this," said Margolis. "Most people have never been in proximity to an eclipse." 
Rainbow Symphony's glasses are certified safe, but NASA warns there are plenty of phony glasses on the market that could be dangerous. 

"They're all over the place," said NASA solar astrophysicist Alex Young. 

Young says fake glasses are being sold in stores and online and can do real harm if you use them during the eclipse. 

"They damage the cells in your eyes, they damage your retinas and the damage can be permanent," Young said. 

To make sure your glasses are safe: look for the Certified ISO icon and the number 12312-2, to make sure they properly block the light.  

It's also important that the lenses are not scratched or damaged. 

That will help make sure you see the eclipse without hurting your sight. 

Around 7,000 libraries across the U.S. are distributing safety-certified glasses. 

The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable manufacturers and authorized dealers found here

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