When the total solar eclipse hits the continental U.S. on Monday, you’ll want to be prepared. For many people, it will be the first total solar eclipse in their lifetime — the last one was in 1979 — and the next continental eclipse won’t be until 2045.
That being said, when experiencing this two-minute, 40-second phenomenon, you’re going to want to protect your eyes. Even when it’s covered by the moon, staring directly at the sun is still incredibly bad for your vision; doing so can permanently damage your retina.
With that in mind, a pair of eclipse glasses is all you need, as they’re manufactured to withstand the power of the sun and allow you to stare straight up at this rare cosmic occurrence. Just remember that as we draw closer to Monday, vendors will be selling out of eclipse glasses due to high demand, so it’s best to call ahead to make sure that glasses are still in stock. Also, make a point of ensuring that the glasses you grab are verified by an accredited testing laboratory and that they meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard; ask the vendor or check the product itself.
Based on recommendations from the American Astronomical Society, Inverse has chosen some of the best (and most accessible) places to grab some solar shades. Happy viewing!
- McDonald’s (if you live in Oregon)
- Pilot Flying J (Convenient if you’re road-tripping to see the eclipse.)
- Public Libraries were giving out free glasses, but a lot of locations have run out, and remaining glasses are intended for library-run eclipse programming only.
- Amazon is still selling eclipse glasses, and if you have a Prime account, you can get same day delivery in some cities.
If you can’t find any eclipse glasses near you or staring directly at the sun isn’t your thing, you’ve still got options. Check out Inverse’s guide to building your own pinhole viewer, as well as other DIY ways to view the solar eclipse.