Solar eclipse glasses available at libraries on August 21

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Solar eclipse glasses available at libraries on August 21

It may be thought that the Moon is completely black because of the Earth's shadow, but the reddish-brown colour is because of the fact that some of the Sun's light bends through the Earth's atmosphere and reflects off the moon. Look for it to be near the moon during the evening of the 29th. You still need to be careful, as you should make sure you have chosen the suitable protective glasses which can really keep your eyes safe.

The total solar eclipse is just 19 days away.

A total solar eclipse can usually be seen from somewhere on the earth every 18 months, but the path of totality normally only covers a path that's about 50 miles wide. It is said to end at 4:51 a.m.

Here in the Valley about 80 percent of the eclipse will be visible, so it won't be safe to look at without eye protection at any time. The damage, which appears as blurry spots in the field of vision, may be temporary, but very well could be permanent, according to NASA.gov.

"Our schools will take advantage of this rare opportunity to educate our students on the science surrounding a total solar eclipse", the news release said. Dark or polarized sunglasses will not protect your eyes. Any glasses or filters you buy should have been "verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide safety standard for such products", says NASA.

Dr. Robert Stencel, a professor of astronomy at the University of Denver, has seen several eclipses in his lifetime.

Consumers should buy glasses only from reputable dealers. Partners include NASA, American Library Association and many other organizations. But you can check NASA's full list of reputable suppliers here. Viewing glasses will be provided.

Consider joining a group viewing party at an area park or nature center.

In conjunction, the Scotch Plains Public Library will host a family friendly Solar Eclipse Celebration beginning at 11:00 a.m. If you have already purchased special glasses, you can check their safety yourselves.

Here's where Google comes in: not only will Google help distribute eclipse viewing glasses to libraries in the STAR Library Education Network free of charge, but it's also providing Mystery Science with 15,000 free glasses that teachers can request directly.

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