We’re all excited for August 21’s total solar eclipse — Nashville is the largest city in the path of the totality (as you’ve certainly heard by now), so while people are traveling long distances to catch a glimpse of the celestial event, we get to just walk outside and look up.
As easy as it’s going to be for us to view the eclipse, at least take one step of preparation: Get a set of “solar filter”/eclipse glasses that’ll protect your eyes and make it safe to stare.
The danger of going without: the potential for permanent eye damage.
More detail from pediatric ophthalmologist Vike Vicente, via the Washington Post this week:
“You can just look at it, and it’s really cool to look at it, but that whole time you’re literally burning the cells off your retina. And once they’re burned, there’s no repair, there’s no fix for it.”
That can mean partial, potentially permanent blindness. And if you think peering through binoculars or a telescope makes it safer, truth worth knowing: It actually can make the damage worse.
Regular sunglasses are out, too — NASA says they “transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.”
Good thing is, it doesn’t take much to protect yourself: Eclipse glasses generally run $2 to $3.
Getting real, reputable eclipse glasses
Here’s another detail worth being aware of: Potentially unsafe eclipse glasses have been cropping up busily since eclipse excitement went into full bloom, and you need to be careful about what you buy.
A WSMV story notes that a slew of companies selling glasses that don’t offer proper protection are going so far as to fraudulently print logos and certifications that the real glasses have.
To be sure you have glasses that’ll actually protect your eyes, you have a few options in Nashville.
If you want to buy yours online, the American Astronomical Society has a full rundown of trusted manufacturers and dealers who offer solar filters and viewers. (One of the top companies, American Paper Optics, is based right here in Tennessee, and they have an etail site that’s easy to remember: EclipseGlasses.com.
In-person options are available too.
Public libraries across the country are giving out free eclipse-viewing glasses, and Nashville Public Library locations are included. Some are hosting eclipse preparation events to arm you with more info. (Here’s an interactive map of libraries hosting eclipse events.)
Check the Nashville Public Library website or call your local branch to see if they have something in the works.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is on it too — approved solar glasses have been made available at the Visitor Information Center at Bridgestone Arena (501 Broadway).
Another great option: Nashville’s ambassadors of science, the Adventure Science Center, have lots planned for Eclipse day, and naturally, they’ve also stocked approved glasses. You can swing by their Spark! Science Emporium to grab yours for $2 (800 Fort Negley Blvd.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Hope this is helpful, and see you on eclipse day, through our ultra-dark glasses.
If you have any questions that lean less toward sun/moon happenings and more toward Nashville real estate, let us know. We’d love to help you get your Nashville house on the market, or find the Nashville home of your dreams. Call or email ACRE here.