Were they by any chance Trump-branded glasses ?
Amazon has "proactively" recalled solar eclipse glasses that "may not comply with industry standards" before darkness descends on the US next week, August 21. To directly observe its awesome power without destroying their eyes, stargazers can use special filtered glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standards. But the …
Amazon appear to be very cautious here, though perhaps understandably so (eyesight and solar observation is not something to be taken lightly).
There have been a lot of items recalled from manufacturers who make some of the best solar filters in the world (Thousand Oaks, Baader, etc), just because the AAS don't have the specific model listed or because the marketplace seller hasn't got the correct documentation. It does seem however that they've taken a blanket approach to it where a lot of the goods being sold are legitimate and from reputable retailers and manufacturers.
I did some research on this back in 2016 - I wanna just look right at the sun without needing the excuse of an eclipse to do it. It turns out, an awful lot of manufacturers are taking a while to catch up with ISO 12312-2 since it's relatively recent, and a lot of them say the previous standard which I forget the name of is okay by itself.
Boo to them. If I hadn't done my own research and found out which standard was required, it would have been perfectly easy to look at a legit seeming website selling eclipse goggles, see all the numbers, and assume that must surely be the legal standard. These businesses don't realise with this it's not entirely about profit. It's about retinal scarring.
I'm sure these standards are fine, but the basic lesson I learned many years ago was "Do not look directly at the sun" through sunglasses, smoked glass, filters or whatever. Things can go wrong - the wind blows the glasses off. Always view an eclipse or the full sun indirectly, by projection.
Here's a nice technique that worked for a partial eclipse, I don't know how it would be for a total one.
Get a rear view mirror out of a dumped car, including the swivel bracket if possible. Snap open some disposable razors and get four blades. Use masking tape to stick the blades (sharp side inwards) onto the mirror so that you leave a small diamond shaped portion of mirror exposed. (about 1/4 inch across) Mask off the rest of the mirror.
The idea is to reflect the eclipse though an open window onto a white wall. Ideally you need a North facing window and all other openings with the blinds down. So bang a wooden post into the ground about 25 feet from the window and screw the mirror bracket onto it. You can then swivel the mirror to get the projection through the window. The image of the Sun will be about 18 inches across and looks cool. No safety glasses needed!
For some reason that I don't fully understand the sharp edges of the "hole" are important. I'm guessing that your method would have a slightly fuzzy projection. In the Bradford (UK) museum of photography I've seen the world's largest "pinhole" photograph. It was taken by masking off an outward looking corridor and exposing the film on the opposite wall. The "pinhole" was four razor blades taped to the window arranged in the diamond shape that I mentioned. The shutter was a cardboard flap. Hopefully an expert will enlighten us.
Easy. Those razor blades (which must be new) cut incoming photons in half. That way you get less light coming through, and all the photons have sharp edges. You have to renew the razor blades every so often because they eventually go blunt.
OK, WTF did you just put in my drink?
I ordered three sets of eclipse viewing filters months ago, and now just last week I hear from Amazon that they might not be effective. Yet it's too late to re-order replacement viewing glasses (lead times are beyond Eclipse Day).
Frustratingly, the filters I have may or may not be effective. The packaging is in Japanese although it also bears the "Made in China" imprint. I've checked the certification markings on the web, and everything looks good EXCEPT for the possibility that it's all counterfeit.
We have IS012312-2 2015, our products has been purchased by the BBC and shown on their website as to how to look at the sun safely. And yet, our products have been taken off sale and our customers sent warnings with hundreds returning the product and been given refunds. This is not the right way to treat suppliers or customers.
I bought ones coming from a company that was listed everywhere as being one of the trusted ones, and it wasn't fulfilled by a third party. Now I'm not sure if I should use these or not, but it is probably too late to get other ones in time unless I got to a store - and if buying a reputable brand from Amazon isn't good enough, how would I tell which ones to get at Walmart, for instance?
I think I'm going to go with my original plan - not looking at the sun through the glasses for more than a couple seconds at a time just in case, and being mostly interested in looking at the fully eclipsed sun without glasses. I've seen partials before - without glasses I might add - so that's not really something I care about. I want to see the full eclipse and see the corona and stars! You don't wear the glasses for that part anyway.
Of course that assumes it isn't going to be cloudy. No point in driving a few hours Monday morning if that's the going to happen, so we're kind of playing it by ear. At least if I don't get to see the eclipse I've been refunded for the glasses. I wonder who is eating the cost, Amazon or the manufacturer? I think I know the answer to that one...I forsee a future article about companies suing Amazon appearing on El Reg later this year!
Hopefully we won't read about a lot of emergency room visits the next day from people who have seriously damaged their vision, and all this worry is over nothing.
I got the notice, but I had already looked at the Sun, can I still sue? Of course, all they say is they didn't get any documentation from the seller, NOT that your glasses are actually defective. I went with ones with an American flag on them. I think Chinese law prohibits cheaping out on products with an American flag on them.
My shades seem OK. I can't see anything through them but the sun. Last time I got the chance at an eclipse was in middle-school. But the clouds ruined the experience. I bought the shades through the school that time, and oddly enough, sometime later, I was able to see even normal house-lights through them. Do they just go bad over time? Or were the standards just so lax in the 90's?
Anyway, Amazon is only listing a few products now (and some unrelated products, maybe fix your search Amazon). And of course the prices have sky-rocketed to $5-$10 a piece or more. Almost seems like this was intentional, refunding the $5 you spent on a pack of 10, and telling you you better buy a new pack of 10 for $99 or you'll burn your eyes out.
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