YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The solar eclipse is a week away but there are still places to get special viewing glasses.
The solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 will start at 1 p.m., with the sunlight being blocked by 80 percent at 2:30 p.m. After that, the sky will begin to brighten and will be back to normal at 4 p.m.
It is a rare point in time when the moon’s alignment will block out the sun — an event which hasn’t happened from coast to coast in 109 years.
NASA issued a warning last month that unsafe eclipse glasses are being distributed by “unscrupulous companies.” The space agency recommends only using eclipse glasses with ISO 12312-2 printed on them by particular companies.
Amazon recently sent out an email to hundreds of its customers, letting them know that their purchased solar eclipse glasses weren’t confirmed safe for viewing. Amazon also said in the email they were refunding buyers in full.
The American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable vendors on its website.
Locally, Lowe’s is selling them for $1.98 each. They’re going fast so the store recommends that you call first before you visit. They’re sold out at the Boardman store but as of Monday afternoon, were available at the Hermitage, New Castle, Butler, and Erie locations.
Home Depot said it never received any glasses and recommended ordering online.
Mill Creek MetroParks has 1,000 glasses, which will be given out during a viewing party on August 21 between 1 and 4 p.m.
Experts with Youngstown State’s Ward Beecher Planetarium stress that those hoping to catch a glimpse of the moon blocking the sun must have proper eye protection.
“Certainly, protect your eyes with solar eclipse glasses. Sunglasses are not okay to look at the sun. You can also use pinhole protectors. You can use telescopes if they’re outfitted with solar filters,” Professor Tiffany Stone Wolbecht said.
If you want to see the event through a telescope with proper eye protection, the planetarium will be at the Mill Creek Metro Farm from 1 to 4 p.m. that day.
The next total eclipse will happen on April 8, 2024, when it will pass right over Newton Falls.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to show that the Ward Beecher Planetarium will be at the Mill Creek Metro Farm, not the Canfield Fair, as previously reported. WKBN regrets the error.