There’s still time to get eclipse glasses — but you’d better act fast

A total eclipse will happen August 21. People, schools and other institutions are making preparations. (Sign up for our free video newsletter here

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Yes, you can still get eclipse glasses. But you’d better hurry.

The Great American Eclipse will take place on Monday, with the moon beginning to block the sun right after 9 a.m. Pacific time. No matter where you’re watching it happen — even if you’re road-tripping to a spot where you can see the total eclipse — you need special glasses to protect your eyes whenever any part of the sun is visible. (And no, your regular sunglasses will not do the trick.)

More: How to watch the eclipse safely »

The American Astronomical Society has compiled a list of reputable vendors. All of the eclipse glasses manufactured by companies on the list have been tested by an outside lab for safety and carry the international safety standard number “ISO 12312-2.”

Here are some other options for getting your hands on a pair of eclipse glasses:


Amazon, Wal-Mart and other online sellers carry eclipse glasses. However, the eclipse is happening on Monday so your window to order, ship and receive the glasses is rapidly closing.


Furthermore, you can’t be completely certain that they’re safe. This week, Amazon had to recall a number of potentially unsafe eclipse glasses that were sold through the site.

The American Astronomical Society’s list includes online vendors, but many have already sold out or cannot guarantee that glasses will arrive in time. One of the sites,, says orders placed Thursday have a guaranteed Saturday delivery — but it’ll set you back $70 for three pairs.

In stores

Many retail chains are getting in on the eclipse celebration. Eclipse enthusiasts are reporting on social media that brick-and-mortar stores are still selling the cardboard glasses without a mark-up, for about $2 to $3 a pair.

The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City. Don't wait too long to get your eclipse glasses.
(Brady McCombs / Associated Press)

Select stores from the following chains carry eclipse glasses. Stores are bound to sell out, so it’s best to call ahead and see if they’re in stock.

  • 7-Eleven
  • Best Buy
  • Kirklands
  • Kroger
  • Lowe’s
  • Toys “R” Us
  • Wal-Mart

More: A solar eclipse is coming on August 21. Here’s what it will look like where you are »


In person

At many eclipse viewing events, extra pairs of glasses will be available to buy or, in some cases, use for free. Here are nine places in Los Angeles where you can watch the eclipse, many of which will have eclipse glasses on hand.

NASA and some public libraries around the country will be holding eclipse-viewing events where they will give out glasses free of charge. You can look them up here:

Other options

If you can’t get glasses in time, you can still enjoy the eclipse — you just can’t look directly at it. The American Astronomical Society provides instructions for making a pinhole camera or sun funnel, as well as using optical projection to view a reflection of the eclipse.

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be setting sail for the Caribbean on the Oasis of the Seas on Sunday, you can watch Bonnie Tyler perform “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” You won’t need any special glasses for that.

Follow me on Twitter @jessica_roy and “like” Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.



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