Many of those living in the United States used special solar eclipse glasses to be able to watch the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but now that the phenomenon has come and gone, what can be done with these glasses?
Do Recycle Or Trash Them
For owners of the eyewear, we hope that you did not just take them off and litter the place where you watched the total solar eclipse. If you plan on disposing them, do so properly by tossing the solar eclipse glasses into a trash can or recycle bin.
Don't Keep Damaged Solar Eclipse Glasses
There is always an option for people to simply wear them every day, but owners should not keep the solar eclipse glasses if they have been scratched, punctured, or torn.
Do Keep It As A Keepsake
Even if solar eclipse glasses are damaged though, if you used them to watch the total solar eclipse, it might be a good idea to hold on to them as a keepsake. One possible idea is to frame the solar eclipse glasses alongside an image of the phenomenon.
Don't Reuse Them For The Next Solar Eclipse
The next solar eclipse in the United States is believed to be happening on April 8, 2024. That is nearly seven years from now, and current owners of the special solar eclipse glasses are not recommended to hold on to them because most versions will only work until they are three years old.
Do Donate To Astronomers Without Borders
Perhaps the best thing that owners can do with their solar eclipse glasses is to donate them to Astronomers Without Borders, which will collect the eyepieces and send them to schools in Asia and South America, so that the students will be able to watch the next solar eclipse on July 2, 2019. As long as the solar eclipse glasses are not damaged and follow the safety standards of NASA, the organization and its partners will accept them as donations.
The mission of the organization is to provide astronomy-related education and equipment to students in developing countries.
"This is an opportunity for schools to have a first-hand science experience that they might not otherwise have," Astronomers Without Borders President Mike Simmons said in a statement. The organization raises money to be able to buy new solar eclipse glasses, but the donations coming from America will greatly benefit it and its students worldwide.