What Happened in 2017?
Why were so many people disappointed with the glasses they bought?
During the crazy run-up to the total eclipse in 2017, a very unfortunate situation took place that put a damper on the experience for a whole lot of people. Parents, teachers, and many others who had taken on the responsibility of buying eclipse glasses for their kids, students, friends and neighbors had their trust betrayed at the proverbial last minute by a situation that left some of them high and dry on eclipse day. Many people who had trusted them were let down, and for some, their hopes of a good eclipse experience were let down. Certainly, wonderful organizations like libraries, schools, astronomy clubs, national science organizations, and even us at eclipse2017.org – who had all done their best to make sure that everybody who wanted certified eclipse glasses would have them – had these best efforts minimized a great deal by what happened as the eclipse approached.
What was it that caused all the confusion, frustration and disappointment? Uncertified eclipse glasses.
That’s right. Many people who had bought eclipse glasses for use on eclipse day – including teachers who had purchased them with hard-won funds from their school’s budget – found out too late that they would not be able to use their glasses because of an inability to ensure that the glasses had been made under the strict conditions mandated by the ISO standard for safety. Many students ended up disappointed, and the entire eclipse community suffered undeserved fallout from something as simple as people buying their glasses from outlets they trusted, but which turned out not to have stocked glasses from trusted sources.
It wasn’t just money savings that was to blame. Many stories of price-gouging on eclipse weekend and eclipse day were floated around, and these took away some of the positive energy that all the science organizations had tried to avoid by providing glasses to so many people for free. Maybe it was convenience, maybe it was trust that buying eclipse glasses from the same people who sold you laundry detergent and sticky notes would be OK… No matter the cause, there were a lot of people who came away very frustrated – and this makes us very sad, because eclipse2024.org exists to make sure that everyone enjoys the eclipse as much as we ourselves do – and safely!!
The simple solution to this problem in 2024 is to ensure that the eclipse glasses you buy are manufactured and sold by reputable companies who can guarantee ISO certification. In order to do that, you need look no further than two US-based companies who manufacture them: American Paper Optics and Rainbow Symphony. These companies have been around for decades, servicing the dedicated eclipse community with ISO-certified glasses, and everyone who travels the world chasing eclipses entrusts their very own eyes to the 100% reputable products these firms make.
The American Astronomical Society put out a listing of manufacturers and sellers of certified eclipse glasses, and of course APO and Rainbow were at the top of that list. No surprise there, as they have gone through the very rigorous process of ensuring that their glasses meet the ISO standard. In fact, both companies have had their products certified by Dr. Ralph Chou – the eclipse eye safety expert whose lab certifies eclipse glasses worldwide, and who is the author of the ISO standard itself!
If you’re buying in quantity, you can go to these companies directly and you will get a very good price for glasses you can trust. (But get there early, because they have a line of customers a mile long!) If you’re buying only a few for your friends and family, you don’t have to go anywhere but where you already are – eclipse2024.org! We are dedicated eclipse observers ourselves. We’ve known the owners of both Rainbow and APO for years, and have trusted them unconditionally with our own eyes for almost 30 years. We offer ONLY their glasses for sale, and we get the glasses directly from them, with NO middleman. And what’s more, eclipse2024.org (through its parent company Eclipse2017.org) is on the AAS list of approved vendors for certified eclipse glasses! You can’t get a better endorsement than that, to make sure that the eclipse glasses you buy are safe!
If you follow the instructions for using eclipse glasses you get from eclipse2024.org, you will be assured a safe and fun eclipse viewing experience – and most importantly, you WON’T have to worry about a repeat of any disappointment from 2017!