Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright use their eclipse shades to look at the sun at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. The district bought 11,000 pairs of solar glasses, enough for every student and staff member to view the eclipse from Twin Falls. Pat Sutphin AP
Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright use their eclipse shades to look at the sun at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. The district bought 11,000 pairs of solar glasses, enough for every student and staff member to view the eclipse from Twin Falls. Pat Sutphin AP

Fort Worth

Can’t find solar eclipse glasses? You’re not alone

August 17, 2017 4:51 PM

FORT WORTH

If you’ve waited until now to get your solar eclipse glasses, you’re in trouble.

The retail chains selling safe eclipse viewers have largely sold out. And the big event is only three days away.

“You’re probably my 50th call today,” a saleswoman at the Kroger Marketplace in Mansfield said. “We sold out yesterday. Somebody from the school came in and bought ’em. About 200.”

Employees at Best Buy and Walmart told a similar story.

“That’s really all that people have been calling about all day,” the Best Buy employee said. “There aren’t even any in the warehouse.”

Best Buy, Kroger and Walmart are among those on a NASA-approved list of retailers recommended by the American Astronomical Society selling safe solar eclipse viewers.

7-Eleven, Lowe’s, Kirkland’s and REI are also on the list. They’re sold out, too.

Evidently, we’ve all heeded experts’ advice about the need for safety when viewing the eclipse and procuring protective glasses or viewers. Looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage.

Fortunately, there are still safe eclipse viewers available, but they’re mainly at organized solar eclipse watch parties and events.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will have loaners available at its event Monday. There will be limited eyewear giveaways at the East Regional Library, Haltom City Public Library, TCU, UTA and other publicized venues.

You can also order eclipse glasses online but many online vendors are requiring bulk purchases, and time is running out.

“Almost every seller is either sold out or has stopped shipping because they can’t guarantee delivery by (Aug.) 21,” American Astronomical Society spokesman Rick Fienberg told the Wisconsin State Journal.

In addition, some buyers online grew skittish after Amazon customers complained of getting bum eclipse glasses over the Internet, prompting Amazon to refund money and remove listings from its website.

Fienberg told the State Journal the market has been flooded with fake glasses.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s store, the Shop Tool, sold out of its third shipment of eclipse glasses Thursday, museum spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez said. The first shipment in July sold out in three weeks, she said.

“We received another order last Thursday — and it sold out in four days.”

She said the museum has sold 2,200 solar glasses in advance of the eclipse “and the requests keep coming.” The museum store also is selling an eclipse book with solar glasses for $15.

Still need solar eclipse glasses? Make sure they're legit

Demand for solar eclipse glasses is so high, scammers are making counterfeits.

AP/YouTube/NASA Goddard

How to safely watch a solar eclipse

Never look directly at the sun's rays. When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times or use another indirect method if you want to face the sun. During a total eclipse when the moon completely obscures the sun, it is safe to look directly at the star -- but it's crucial that you know when to wear and not wear your glasses. Credit: NASA Goddard/YouTube

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh

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