“It’s an awe inspiring event,” said TJ White, an employee with Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT) talking about the 2017 solar eclipse.
On August 21, here in San Diego, watchers will see a partial solar eclipse with nearly 65% of the sun’s rays blocked by the moon. TJ said OPT’s biggest seller recently has been solar eclipse glasses.
“I’ve gone to different places, haven’t been able to find anything,” Sid Jones from Chula Vista said. Sid said he drove to Oceanside from Chula Vista to buy ten pairs of glasses for $60.
“On average, we send out a couple hundred boxes but today, we’re going to be sending out about 1,500 to 2,000,” TJ said.
While OPT’s glasses have been verified safe, some organizations are warning the eclipse has been an opportunity for crooks hoping to capitalize off unverified glasses or filters.
Amazon started reaching out to customers last week who bought solar glasses or filters that have not been verified as being safe, according to Cecilia Fan, a spokesperson for Amazon.
In an email, Fan said, “We asked third-party sellers that were offering solar eclipse glasses to provide documentation to verify their products were compliant with relevant safety standards.”
Fan said Amazon sellers who have provided safety documentation for their products remain available for sale but listings from sellers who did not provide verification have been removed. Customers who purchased from unverified sellers were notified by Amazon last week, according to Fan. Customers with questions about their purchase are encouraged to contact Amazon’s customer service department.
NASA and other experts are encouraging eclipse-viewers to make sure glasses are ISO rated and to avoid any that might be scratched or older than three years.
To learn more tips from NASA for viewing the 2017 solar eclipse safely, click here.
Another way to watch the eclipse is a homemade pinhole viewer. To read step-by-step instructions on how to make one, click here.
“You’re going to be in complete darkness for a couple of minutes in the middle of the day,” TJ said, “Some say it’s a life-changing event.”