Where You Can Still Find Solar Eclipse Glasses in Chicago Area - NBC Chicago
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Where You Can Still Find Solar Eclipse Glasses in Chicago Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you were hoping to watch this month’s total solar eclipse, you probably know sunglasses aren’t going to cut it. But if you bought special eye wear to witness the big event, you may want to check them again. Chris Hush reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017)

    If you're hoping to watch the solar eclipse as it happens Monday, you're going to need a pair of specialty glasses (or a few other contraptions).

    But the glasses are going fast.

    Photo credit: Kye Martin

    Hundreds of people lined up at Chicago's Daley Plaza Thursday morning for a chance at getting a free pair, but many left empty-handed. Officials said 9,000 pairs of glasses were gone within 57 minutes. 

    Experts have warned that counterfeit eclipse glasses are flooding the marketplace and being mislabeled as safe, so it's important to make sure your glasses are certified. 

    According to the American Astronomical Society, buying eye wear from “reputable vendors” and “authorized dealers” is one way to make sure the eye wear is safe (see list of vendors here). If you’re looking to test glasses for safety, experts say you shouldn't be able to see anything through the lenses except the sun itself, or something equally bright.

    Eclipse Viewing Events in the Chicago AreaEclipse Viewing Events in the Chicago Area

    Several giveaways are also being done across the Chicago area. Here's a look at where you can still find a pair:

    Adler Planetarium: 

    Anyone who visits the Adler Planetarium will get a free pair of glasses with their admission, while supplies last. The promotion continues through Aug. 20. Also, on Monday, Adler Planetarium will have 30,000 glasses available for those that come to their solar eclipse festival. 

    Grant Park:

    Adler volunteers are expected to be back out at 2 p.m. Thursday at Michigan and Roosevelt handing out free eclipse glasses. A big turnout is expected so if you're hoping to snag a pair here you'll want to arrive early. 

    Lagunitas Brewing:

    Lagunitas Chicago will be handing out glasses to customers Friday between 1 and 4 p.m. Adler Planetarium representatives will also be holding a Q&A with guests. The event is free and open to the public, but only two pairs of glasses will be allowed per adult. 

    Chicago Public Libraries:

    Beginning Aug. 14, all Chicago Public Library locations were providing free solar eclipse glasses to patrons. Up to two pairs of glasses were being given out to anyone over the age of 14. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each pair also comes with a bookmark with information about safe viewing of the eclipse. 

    Stores With Eclipse Glasses Available for Purchase

    According to the American Astronomical Society, several retail chains, including 7-Eleven, Lowe's, Toys "R" Us, Walmart and others, are selling solar viewers at various locations. For a full list click here

    Online Options:

    Amazon still has viewing glasses in stock, but many are only available in packs and cost anywhere from $50 to $200.

    The company recalled some counterfeit solar eclipse glasses Monday, saying they may not meet ISO standards to protect your eyes while looking at the eclipse. Amazon said it has emailed customers who purchased the counterfeit glasses and will be issuing them a refund. Customers who purchased legitimate eclipse glasses did not receive a message because their product was confirmed to be ISO compliant, the company said.

    American Paper Optics is selling eclipse glasses in packs of 25 for $4 each, meaning you'll need to spend at least $100 to purchase. 

    Other options besides glasses:

    NBC 5's Chief Meteorologist Brant Miller says viewers can make their own pinhole projector to view the upcoming eclipse safely -- for about $3! He shows you how here.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a guide to making your own pinhole camera to watch the eclipse safely. You only need two pieces of white card stock, aluminum foil, tape and a pin or paper clip. 

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