Here's A Good Reason Why You Should Hang On To Your Eclipse Glasses

The Great American Eclipse is over, and those glasses you purchased months in advance or frantically searched for yesterday morning are all but useless. To you, that is.
While another total solar eclipse won't pass over the U.S. until 2024, there will be one for South America on July 2, 2019. Unless you plan to keep your eclipse glasses in perfect, unscratched condition for the next seven years — consider donating them to people who can use them sooner: Astronomy group Astronomers Without Borders announced on Twitter that they will be collecting eclipse glasses to send to South American and Asian schools, so students can be equipped for the 2019 eclipse.
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One thing to note: The group advises you not to send your glasses immediately. Keep them in a safe place, where they won't get bent or damaged, and check the group's Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter to find out when and where to send your pair.
In years past, eclipse glasses had a limited lifespan of three years. But according to NASA, the safety standard adopted in 2015, ISO 12312-2, allows glasses to be used forever — so long as they aren't ripped, punctured, or scratched. So, should you want to keep your pair (and make sure it stays in good condition), you can feel safe doing so and using them again in 2024.
Then again, why not let others benefit from the celestial spectacle, too? At the very least, you can feel good knowing your specs are going to a worthy cause — a once-in-a-lifetime view of the sun and moon. If you're worried about running into problems in 2024, such as a shortage of glasses as the event draws near or alarming recalls, now is the time to remember to plan ahead. Go to one of the vendors verified by the American Astronomical Society and buy in bulk this year. That way, you, and all your eclipse-watching friends and coworkers, are guaranteed to be covered.
If you want to relive the beauty of yesterday's total eclipse, see some of the gorgeous shots photographers have been sharing on Instagram here.
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