Terrifying news for anyone planning to watch the solar eclipse happening on Aug. 21: Amazon just issued a massive recall on some solar eclipse glasses, amidst reports of counterfeits. Though many sellers say their solar eclipse glasses — which are specially designed to protect one's eyes during the natural phenomenon — are legit, Amazon still pulled many of them out of "caution."
As you may know, it used to be enough to check if your solar eclipse glasses had the international safety standard code of 12312-2 on the label. Unfortunately, today's counterfeiters (many of which Amazon is concerned about) are printing that number on fake products. So before you purchase solar eclipse glasses, be sure that your product is on the American Astronomical Society's list of reputable vendors. "If we don't list a supplier, that doesn't mean their products are unsafe," press officer Rick Fienberg said in a statement. "It just means that we have no knowledge of them or that we haven't convinced ourselves they're safe."
But let's say you already purchased your solar eclipse glasses and want to verify their safety. Luckily, we've got the scoop on how to spot a phony to be sure you can safely view the phenomenon.
Fake solar eclipse glasses
...give you a view that isn't completely dark. Real solar eclipse glasses, on the other hand, will make you feel like you're wearing a blindfold — unless you're looking at the sun.
...give you the ability to see run-of-the-mill brightness. This is a sign they are designed more like regular sunglasses, which definitely won't cut it. To get more specific, real solar eclipse glasses are around 100,000 times darker than typical sunglasses.
...make you feel uncomfortable while looking at the sun. Real solar eclipse glasses will make you feel as if you are looking at the moon.
...are out of focus. If the sun is hazy-looking, that's a red flag that your glasses aren't safe and that you should return them. It also bears mentioning that if your glasses are scratched, torn, or damaged in any way, you should definitely toss them too.
Stay safe while stargazing out there, folks!
h/t Country Living