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Solar eclipse viewing: Beware of counterfeit safety glasses

Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 16:51:54-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  - We are just two weeks away from a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a solar eclipse that will cross over all 48 states in the contiguous United States. Here in West Michigan, it will only be a partial eclipse, but you still need to take precautions.

In the afternoon of Monday, August 21, shortly before 2:30 p.m., people in West Michigan will be able to see the maximum 84 percent of the partial eclipse and you will need eclipse glasses to stay safe. If you’re buying online, be careful and make sure your glasses are the real deal.

Counterfeit versions are now being sold online so experts say you have to make sure they have a label reading 'ISO 12312-2' and be made by one of the recommended manufacturers.

The glasses are even more important in West Michigan, where there is only a partial eclipse, meaning some of the sun’s rays will be seen at all times.

The glasses can also help capture the moment when taking pictures. Tech experts say they can be used as a filter on your cellphone lens to provide more detail, but even when using DSLR cameras you shouldn't look directly through the lens without an added protective lens.  There are even apps that can help you change certain camera settings.

The glasses are selling fast in stores like Walmart and Lowe's, but you can also find them at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Kent District Library is giving them out for free at the East Grand Rapids and Alto branches.

For more details on the eclipse, click here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/