A Bartlett company, well known for its novelty and 3D glasses, has a pair of specs to help view today’s partial solar eclipse without scorching your eyeballs.
If you show up at their offices on Appling or at an eclipse watch party at Shelby Farms, American Paper Optics will provide the “Eclipsers” for free. Jason Lewin, director of marketing for American Paper Optics, said the glasses are more effective in blocking the hazardous rays emanating from the eclipse than peeking through your fingers or looking at a reflection on a car windshield.
“We are the world’s largest manufacturer of these eclipse glasses that you actually wear for safety reasons while you are looking at an eclipse,” Lewin said.
The free watch party is at Shelby Farms’ Woodland Discovery Playground from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Memphis Astronomical Society will provide telescopes for safe viewing. Lewin will be there with the company’s Eclipsers, or those interested can go to the company’s office at 2995 Appling Road, Suite 106 and pick up a pair.
The eclipse — formed by the moon passing in front of the sun — is expected as sunset approaches. The moon’s path will only block part of the sun locally, creating the partial eclipse, with the most optimum viewing time coming shortly before 6 p.m.
The National Geographic website notes it’s never wise to stare directly into the sun.
“Even if only a tiny sliver of the sun can be seen, it’s too bright for our eyes,” according to the website. “Less than 1 percent of the visible sun is still 4,000 times brighter than the full moon,” and because of that the retina in an unprotected eye can burn in about 30 seconds. And, don’t even think about using binoculars or some other magnifier, which would only accelerate the potential damage.
The threat resulted in several options to view the eclipse from wearing welder’s goggles to projecting the sun through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard onto a sheet of paper.
Lewin said American Paper Optics provides an alternative with the company’s “new and improved” glasses. The company markets an array of 3D glasses and glasses that enhance other events from fireworks to Christmas lights.
“Our eclipse glasses are independently tested and (certified) for the safest direct solar viewing,” according to the company website.