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XX2i Optics PSA: Safe Eclipse Viewing

XX2i Optics PSA: Safe Eclipse Viewing

The eclipse is coming. On August 21, the continental United States will witness a total eclipse for the first time in 38 years. This celestial phenomenon occurs when the sun is blocked by the moon, and areas of the United States will go into total darkness as the moon moves in between the sun and the Earth. This perfect alignment is rare, the next total solar eclipse is slated for 2024 in North America, with a few others slated to zig zag across other parts of the globe between now and then.  Those planning to witness ‘totality,’ the complete obscuring of the sun, are already tracking the eclipse’s path across the country and finding campsites, hotels, and rooftops from which to witness the event. It’s estimated that it will take one hour and 33 minutes for the moon’s shadow to cross the entire country.

You know when your mom told you not to stare at the sun, because you would go blind? The same holds true for eclipse day it’s vitally important to have appropriate and certified Solar Eclipse approved eyewear when you’re looking directly at the sun, even when it will be fully or partially blocked by the moon. As stylish and functional as XX2i Optics sunglasses are, they are not enough to protect your eyes when looking directly at the sun, not even our 8k Optics polarized lenses. Any sunglass lenses, including 100% UVA and UVB sunglasses like XX2i Optics, will provide insufficient protection when you’re looking directly at the sun. Remember, looking straight at the sun can cause damage to your eyeballs, including photokeratitis (sunburn to your eye), or solar retinopathy, which is caused by light from the sun flooding the retina at the back of the eye, and actually causes damage to the rods and cones by igniting a chemical reaction. Even if you wear the darkest pair of sunglasses you own, XX2i Optics or other brands, they still won’t be sufficient to protect your eyes. Instead, experts recommend ISO-certified filters, which typically take the form of eclipse glasses or solar filters for your telescopes and cameras.

The popularity of the eclipse has resulted in many retailers producing ‘solar eclipse’ glasses that fall short of safety standards set by NASA. The American Astronomical Society issued a list of trusted vendors that produce solar filters and viewers, which you can find here. When in doubt, it can be helpful to talk to your eyecare provider, as they will be a wealth of information regarding eye protection, and may even have certified eclipse glasses for sale.

For those setting out on a quest for adventure and to obtain the best viewing experience, Gear Institute has very helpfully assembled what they’re calling a Total Solar Eclipse Survival Package, including everything you need from the perfect stargazing tent to a whole section on the appropriate photography gear. And for more eclipse photography tips, you can check out this awesome article from the American Academy of Optometry.

For everyone out there looking to see this little piece of solar history, have a fantastic time, and remember! Take good care of your eyes, you only have one pair. Remember that sunglasses are not dark enough to fully protect your eyes when you’re looking directly at the sun, and you must get eclipse-specific glasses in order to fully enjoy the viewing experience. Gaze safely!

As a special thank you for reading this PSA, and taking good care of your eyes overall, we would like to offer you our Summer Promo to receive 50% off all XX2i Optics gear and Free US Domestic Shipping. SHOP NOW with code 'eclipse'.