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Where to find glasses for the solar eclipse

Posted at 9:56 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 10:24:11-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) On Monday morning millions of eyes in America will be fixed on the sky for the total solar eclipse.

If you want to watch the eclipse experts say you need to protect your eyes to prevent permanent damage. 

Many locations have reported selling out of the glasses.

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium at the University of Arizona has sold more than 4,000 pairs of glasses for the eclipse. The center has been updating it's website to let people know what's available. The glasses are $5 a pair.

Noel Hensley is the education director at Flandrau.

"We've had to order two separate batches from our original order," Hensley said. "It's definitely high demand. There's so much public interest in this event."

The center has been fielding calls for days from people looking for glasses.

"I don't think we could have anticipated this kind of turnout," said Shiloh Fontes. "We're really excited that everyone is so excited to see the solar eclipse, of course safely."

Fontes does design and operations at Flandrau, and she's traveling to Idaho to be in the path of totality. 

"What I'm most looking forward to is that when we have totality we will be able to see the stars at the same time," Fontes said.

Fontes says when buying glasses make sure you find the ISO number to confirm they were made by a company with verified filters.

NASA has a link to a list of reputable vendors, but many locations have sold out of the glasses.

MORE: Amazon issues refunds for potentially phony eclipse glasses.

KGUN9 reached out to Lowe's locations in Tucson and all of them are sold out. Starizona also posted on its website they are sold out of solar eclipse glasses.

Most of the options on Walmart's website were no longer available.

MORE: How to make a cereal box projector to view the solar eclipse.

There were about 1,000 pairs of free glasses at Pima County libraries but they have all been handed out.

Even if you don't have glasses, there is a way to watch safely. Here is a link to events at libraries in Pima County. There will be watch parties at the following 7 locations:

  • Murphy-Wilmot
  • Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. 
  • Valencia
  • Salazar-Ajo
  • Oro Valley
  • Quincie Douglas
  • Santa Rosa

The libraries hosting events will either have glasses to use or will have pinhole projectors for people to use. Some locations will also be streaming the live NASA feed.

At the U of A there will be multiple organizations and telescopes set up for the eclipse and options for safe watching. Here is more about the viewing event.

Flandrau is open on Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 1601 E. University Blvd.

Hensley says Monday is also the first day of school at the U of A so people need to be aware that parking may be tough. One option she says is to park off-campus at a Sun Link station.