“Like a magnifying glass on a leaf when you were a kid,” an optometrist tweeted at me. Ouch.
Now that the preachy warning is over, here’s the awesome news: Libraries all over the country are giving out free eclipse-viewing glasses. Two million of them!
Map of participating libraries
Note: It looks like we may have overloaded the STAR_Net Libraries site. If you get a blank page, check back! Sorry, STAR_Net…
People directly in the path of the eclipse are going to see something incredible. A total eclipse is basically indescribable. Even astronomers have a hard time coming up with the words to explain what a total solar eclipse feels like. These are the kinds of things that, before modern astronomy, would make people think the world was ending.
For everyone outside the path, you’re still going to be able to see a partial eclipse, and you’re still going to need these glasses.
This story has been revised to better explain how looking at the sun for a long period of time will damage your eyes.