Only a few days left until the total solar eclipse – April 8, 2024. If you live in the path of totality or are traveling towards it, you will need solar eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while looking at the sun.

Solar eclipse glasses are special glasses that block the most dangerous parts of the solar spectrum for human eyes. When you look through them, the sun should appear as an easy-to-see yellow-orange circle. Be aware that these glasses will block all light – so you won't be wearing these glasses while walking, driving, or doing anything other than viewing eclipses.

See more information: Need free Solar Eclipse glasses? Stop by Warby Parker

However, bad actors will sell eclipse glasses that actually do nothing to protect your eyes from the sun. So if you're viewing the eclipse in person this year, you'll want to make sure your eyes are actually protected. Read on to discover the steps you can take to ensure your solar eclipse glasses are legit.

To learn more, see how Solar Snap can help you take great eclipse photos and why you should download your route from Google Maps before traveling to see the eclipse.

Check the ISO number of your Eclipse glasses

According to American Astronomical Societyan actual, safe pair of solar eclipse glasses should be labeled with ISO 12312-2 (sometimes written in more detail as ISO 12312-2:2015), which is an international safety standard that indicates that the glasses reduce sunlight visible at safe levels and block UV and IR radiation.

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Check the list of reputable Eclipse glasses suppliers

However, fake glasses may also be labeled as complying with ISO 12312-2 because, as a general rule, people are greedy, selfish and cannot be trusted. To check the veracity of your Eclipse glasses' ISO claims, you can see if the supplier you purchased the shades from is trustworthy in the eyes of the AAS. See your list of Reputable Solar Filters and Viewers Suppliers. In fact, the safest thing you can do is to choose a supplier from the list above and buy your glasses there so that there are no worries about fakes and fakes when it comes to the safety of your eyes.

The list also includes major retailers and chains where you can buy AAS-approved eclipse glasses, including Warby Parker, which is giving away free glasses starting April 1. Personally, I purchased my glasses from a reputable local museum, but I'll still be checking mine to make sure I'm protected.

When putting together its list, AAS checks whether a manufacturer has achieved its ISO rating with adequate laboratory testing. It also asks manufacturers for their authorized dealers and their manufacturers' dealers. If the supplier of your Eclipse blinds is listed, you're safe. But the opposite is not necessarily true. If your supplier is not listed, it does not necessarily mean that they are selling fakes. It just means that AAS didn't check them or wasn't able to track everything.

So what should you do if your supplier isn't on the list? Get an eye test.

How to Test Your Solar Eclipse Glasses

If your mysterious pair of eclipse glasses seems too dark, that's a good place to start. You shouldn't be able to see anything through them except the sun itself or something equally bright.

What is something as bright as the sun that you can use as a test? O AAS suggests you check the sunlight reflected from a mirror or shiny metal object. If the sun is behind the clouds or on the other side of the earth when you want to test your glasses, you can use a bright white LED, like your phone's flashlight or a bare bulb. Reflected sunlight or bright, white artificial light should appear very dim through a safe pair of eclipse glasses. If you can see the light behind a lampshade or a soft, frosted bulb through eclipse glasses, then you know those glasses are not strong enough to safely look at the sun.

When looking at the sun through solar eclipse-safe glasses, the sun should appear comfortably bright like a full moon, according to the AAS. If your Eclipse glasses are uncomfortable to wear, that's also a good sign that they may not be legit.