Hundreds of thousands of eclipse glasses were scooped up ahead of Monday’s historic total solar eclipse, but now that it’s over, what should you do with the new specs?
Don’t throw them out, officials say.
According to NASA, if your eclipse glasses or viewers are ISO 12312-2 safety compliant, and the filters aren’t scratched, punctured or torn, you can reuse them indefinitely.
Some glasses may warn of expiration dates, however.
“Some glasses/viewers are printed with warnings stating that you shouldn’t look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time and that you should discard them if they are more than 3 years old,” NASA states. “Such warnings are outdated and do not apply to eclipse viewers compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard adopted in 2015.”
The next total eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024 and while most areas that saw Monday’s eclipse won’t be in the path of totality for the next one, Carbondale and southern Illinois will be.
The next coast-to-coast one will not be until 2045.
Even if you don’t plan on watching the next solar eclipse, or you don’t want to hang on to your glasses for that long, you still don’t have to trash them.
Astronomers Without Borders has asked anyone looking to get rid of their solar viewers to donate them to be sent to schools in South America and Asia, when eclipses cross those continents in 2019.
Anyone looking to donate the glasses can follow the group’s announcements via their newsletter or send them directly to:
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
Published at 2:33 PM CDT on Aug 22, 2017