What to do with your eclipse glasses

Solar glasses and viewers were used on August 21st to safely view the solar eclipse. What some people don’t realize is that instead of throwing them away, there are places to return undamaged eclipse glasses. Photo by Sophie Berning

Sophie Berning

Monday, August 21st, 2017 was the day everyone put down their phones to stare at the sky. People put their differences aside, even in the midst of political and social chaos, to gather together all across the nation to watch one amazing phenomenon: the solar eclipse.

“A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or a portion of the Sun” said astronomy teacher Michael Schieber.

This solar eclipse the was first one to make its journey all the way from east to west coast in almost a century. While a solar eclipse usually is over within a few hours of beginning, the repercussions hang around for a while.

Solar eclipse glasses were used all across the country to view the solar eclipse.

Eclipse glasses can be recycled or reused for years as long as they are not damaged. Damaged eclipse glasses are not safe and should not be used, things such as, tears or holes in the filter itself, even if the filter is scratched or coming loose.

If the solar eclipse glasses are still in good shape instead of tossing them into landfills, there are organizations collecting reusable glasses. According to NASA, Astronomers Without Borders are collecting solar eclipse glasses to donate to children in other countries who will be experiencing the next solar eclipse.

The solar eclipse is over and stores, such as Walmart, are not accepting returns for products that were used directly for the solar eclipse.

With all of the excitement gone from the solar eclipse, all that is left is to look forward to the next one. In America the next one will take place on October 23, 2023. This eclipse will be an annular eclipse which is where the moon is smaller than the sun because of where it is in it’s orbit of the Earth. On April 8, 2024 there will be a total solar eclipse again. For both of these eclipses, solar glasses will be needed when viewing.