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The solar eclipse is happening soon. Here's where to buy approved eclipse glasses — and how to spot fakes

The Canadian solar eclipse is just days away, and you're going to need approved gear.

Canadians are gearing up to see a rare celestial event in April, when a solar eclipse is set to occur. But can you do it safely? Here's how you can get your hands on eclipse sunglasses, now on sale. (Yahoo Canada)
Canadians are gearing up to see a rare celestial event in April, when a solar eclipse is set to occur. But can you do it safely? Here's how you can get your hands on eclipse sunglasses, now on sale. (Yahoo Canada)

The hype is real for the total solar eclipse that's happening in Canada on April 8, 2024, just one week away. While anticipation is high, we can't forget about crucial eye safety. Seeing the sun go black is a rare experience, but without proper protection, it can cause some serious trouble for our peepers. That's why specialized solar eclipse glasses are essential for us to marvel at this rare celestial event safely. You still have time to grab a pack of Soluna eclipse glasses for just $30. Time is ticking, so you'll want to snag this deal ahead of the big day.

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Here's what you need to know about the upcoming eclipse and where to buy approved glasses.

Upcoming eclipse in Canada

A solar eclipse, a rare and stunning astronomical event, occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth, casting a shadow that either partially or completely obscures the sun.

On April 8, a total eclipse will occur from southern Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador, while the rest of Canada will be treated to a partial eclipse. Such events captivate observers but also pose a significant risk to eye safety if proper precautions are not taken.

Why you need special glasses to watch the eclipse

Friends in Santa Monica - Los Angeles having fun on the promenade. Staring at the sun can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. We've rounded up Amazon's best deals on protective eclipse glasses this spring. (Getty)
Staring at the sun can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. We've rounded up Amazon's best deals on protective eclipse glasses this spring. (Getty)

The human eye is incredibly sensitive, and the intense radiation from the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause irreversible damage, according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists. This condition, known as solar retinopathy, results from looking directly at the sun, leading to the destruction of cells in the retina — which can be permanent.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists emphasizes the critical need for proper eye protection during these events, advising against the use of standard sunglasses, which fail to offer sufficient protection.

How do they work? According to the Scientific American, eclipse glasses have solar filters to dampen the intensity of the sun's light "way, way down." Rick Fienberg, safety lead at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Solar Eclipse Task Force, told the Scientific American, "they are at least 1,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses." This means no more than 0.00032 per cent of the sun's visible light can get through the solar filter.

Fakes are being sold. How can I tell if solar eclipse glasses are counterfeit?

According to a Global News report, as the solar eclipse nears, there's a surge in counterfeit eclipse glasses on the market, posing a significant risk to consumers. Fake glasses may not provide adequate protection, leading to potential eye damage when observing the solar phenomena.

The American Astronomical Society issued a warning last week saying fake eclipse glasses were "polluting the marketplace." In February, Amazon pulled counterfeit product listings, while a spokesperson told Global News, "it continuously monitor its store and takes action to maintain a safe selection for customers, including removing non-compliant products."

Experts emphasized the importance of buying glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safe solar viewing. According to the AAS, you shouldn't be able to see anything through proper eclipse glasses. You should only be able to faintly see very bright lights. "If you can see anything else, such as household furnishings or pictures on the wall, your glasses aren't dark enough for solar viewing," the agency warned.

Where to buy legit eclipse glasses

Here's which certified eclipse glasses you can buy on Amazon right now — and some are even on sale for a limited time.

The Soluna glasses filter 100% of harmful ultra-violet and 99.999% of intense visible light. 

$30 at Amazon

👓 Soluna Solar Eclipse Glasses, produced in the USA by NASA-approved manufacturer American Paper Optics, are a "trusted choice for millions globally." These glasses have scratch-resistant silver polymer lenses, and claim to filter out 100 per cent of harmful UV and infrared rays, along with 99.999 per cent of intense visible light. The product is also recognized by the American Astronomical Society and verified for authenticity through the Amazon Transparency Program.

The glasses come in a pack of five on Amazon for just $30, and in a pack of two for just $15. More than 5,000 Amazon shoppers reviewed this product, giving it an average of 4.7 stars. "I didn't feel any eye discomfort or strain and didn't feel like the glasses were dangerous," one reviewer wrote, adding "It's also a plus that they fold flat."

The Soluna Glasses are made by a NASA-approved manufacturer and were well-reviewed by shoppers who viewed a previous eclipse. 

$17 at Amazon

👓 Helioclipse Solar Eclipse Glasses, which are made in Toronto, are described as "your own personal UV bodyguard." They are on the American Astronomical Society list of approved brands for safe eclipse viewing. According to the brand, you can safely use these sunglasses to stare at the sun for up to three minutes at a time.

You can snag a 12-pack of these glasses for $40. They received a 4.6-star rating by Amazon buyers, with one saying "they are about as dark as you can possibly get, which is obviously a good thing for a solar eclipse." Another said they've "used this brand before," and the glasses were "safe and reliable."

This brand is approved by the American Astronomical Society as safe for eclipse watching. The 12-pack is perfect for families and friends who want to enjoy the experience together. 

$40 at Amazon

The 2024 total solar eclipse is a not-to-be-missed event, with the next such spectacle in North America not due until 2044. Whether you're gathering with family or planning a solo observation, safety should always be your top priority. Take advantage of Amazon's sale and equip yourself with the proper gear.

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